I am likely not as clever
as some people assume.

The degrees I have collected
are evidence of commitment
rather than any intelligence,
for if I were really so astute,
then why have I stumbled
so often through these years
as if incapable of learning
from my abundant mistakes?

I have indeed lived a full life:
have sired beautiful children,
acquired multiple languages,
and lived in several countries.
I have seen my books published
hosted a show on television,
and composed more poems
than anyone should ever endure.

I have been places and seen
things that evoke envy in others.
And yet, beyond the superficial
glamor of it all, I have failed
time and again to recognize
and honor the value of truth
or to embrace the unconstructed
beauty of an honest love.

Which is perhaps why now
when all else is said and done
my soul can stand thus naked
beneath the sun and unfettered
declare in a voice quiet yet keen:
I am a fool and have always been.
Yet let not my mistakes define me,
but my eagerness to learn from them,

and to open
my heart, beloved,
to you.

Salt Lake City 16 May 2022