Poem for a Tuesday — “Risk” by Lisa Colt
“My teacher says,
You’ve got to stink first.
I tell her, I don’t have time to stink–
at 64 years old
I go directly to perfection
or I go nowhere.
Perfection is nowhere,
she says, So stink.
Stink like a beginner,
stink like decaying flesh,
I know a woman who’s eighty-six,
last year she learned to dive.“
Published in Claiming the Spirit Within: A Sourcebook of Women’s Poetry, ed. Marilyn Sewell. Boston: Beacon Press, 1996.