Summer, At Best

Summer, At Best

“Be ye therefore perfect…”
from “The Sermon on the Mount”

Taller, an inch, depending on the shoe.
Slimmer, at best, a pound or two.
More openhanded, perhaps,
if you count nickels and dimes.
But can I count my way to kindness?

This and that may improve over time.
My poetry: I make smarter tropes.
My tennis game: I learn a new shot,
a top-spin lob, a forehand slice.
But can I teach myself to love?

And as for turning the other cheek
when struck, washing the cellar steps
unasked, forgiving her back in bed,
perfection, God, is out of my reach.
Can I lay down my burden now?


©James L. Ralston


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