The poetic city: “Perfection 9/21/13”

Miss Helen dipping into the chaotic fun of life. (Photo by: Richard Eager)

Perfection   9/21/13



In the dining hall 

Sits Miss Helen.


Swallowed by the emptiness

She sits by herself


Arranging and rearranging  

The knives, forks, and spoons…


She lines them up 

This way and that 

Looking for order

Seeking meaning

Never satisfied

She sits alone



She strives for perfection.


I appear to Miss Helen

In angelic form 

White hat

Red shirt

Shorts and sneakers.


She looks up 

Smiles in greeting 

Knowing she knows me 

Not who I am 

But what I am

She tells me I look good

Secretly, I agree.


I ask her to go with me

Into the garden 

Where we will count the birds

As they come and go 

And we can listen and dance

In the shade of the crepe myrtle.


Helen worries

If it is ok to leave … 

To leave her project undone

To the leave the world 

In a state of imperfection 


In disarray.


She asks if it is ok

And she trusts when I say

It’s ok …


It’s ok Miss Helen 

To let the world be 

In its state of imperfection

And that’s enough for her 

To let it go. 


In the garden of the Chateau

In the shade of the crepe myrtle 

We settle into the right spot

From which to survey the world …


A scaled down world

Of birds and flowers, 

Of fountain and sky

And a slight breeze to set it all in motion

We settle down to listen …

To listen and dance our dance

And join the show.


© Reece Burka 2/1/2019


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