May 14, 2012
By Bekah Barr BRONZE, East Kingston, New Hampshire
Bekah Barr BRONZE, East Kingston, New Hampshire
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Potential is.
Either given or lacking, she embraces the unfortunate and the hard working, the outsiders and the talented. Potential they always say ‘he’s not there yet’ and ‘he might have’ but he couldn’t see her behind him: elusive and coy like a four-leaf clover of chance. She hides from the mirror, only appearing to bystanders and parents, spectators that have the vision and say ‘he has it, he just needs to work harder.’ As if potential is only possible after someone has told you so. Born blind to your own future, you pray that Potential carries you to another level of athletes and collegiates, hugs you close after having been invited in.

Average. As if out of 10 kids, 1 is already enough but 2 have potential. Picky, choosy, seductive, wasted, inspiring, motivating, the shape shifter can take a head from the clouds onto a ground of potential reality. She snags kids from the ghetto, selects players from the court, toys with opportunity and hope because she flirts with your future. Whispers of her touch on your shoulder seduce boys to imagine a Mount Olympus of impossibility they might never climb but rather find themselves clinging to a screaming crevice, abandoned by her with a torn ACL, low GPA or poor SAT. Potential.

She appears fertile with hope, a familiar companion and guide, a purring cat brushing against young limbs, asking for time to be indulged, rough tongue licking the tears from your eyes and sweat from your brow, a reminder of the breathing destiny that weighs upon your chest when you take your morning breath… she sleeps there close to your heart, closer to your fantasies, where her gleaming claws tear holes into a dreaming conscious, and she lullabies the lies of a siren…onwards sailor through murky waters of doubt and late nights, past shipwrecks of broken vision, you sail on time and youth, waking with 7 seconds to remember your glimmering fortune. (countdown)

For some, her seductive beauty can’t counter the fears, the cracks and walls of mind and reality… Potential is a calculating lover, a fox, she preys on the young and naïve, stalking them in the wilderness of youth, leaving pawprints in soft warm earth and a glow of optimism, her calls sound like your parents and friends, reminding you of what you can become… but for some, uncertainty or laziness grips the heart like terror, and you turn away towards the other average children who have come out to play. Play with them, they too are lax and afraid or untalented, but remember she never guides the same boy twice.

He had so much potential. As if he was deaf to her murmur, blind to opportunity, unable to indulge the goddess and realize what could’ve been…she flickered beside him for years, but he blamed the world, could not recognize the shallow supernatural that would taunt him in the corners of mirrors years later with glinting teeth to laugh at his grey hair and meager salary, flick her wrist at his ordinary life, and swish her hair at the mortality of his fate.

The author's comments:
this is a performance poem that I wrote to embody the idea of Potential and make her a goddess.

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