Day Eight: They Never Tell You Goals Are Squirrelly

Bokeh squirrels on the lake photographed through the hedge and tall grass.
Lofty Goals by Maria L. Berg 2022


A goal can be a concrete noun, if you’re playing soccer (football in most of the world), but as an abstract noun–“the result or achievement toward which effort is directed”–it is a squirrelly concept. Since the beginning of the year, I have read a pile of books on the concept of goal setting, creating and changing habits, motivation, and achieving goals. I’ve written about it in a series of posts (The theme for this year is “A Year of Finishing Novels”), but goals are shifty, and when captured tend to grow larger, or run further away.

I’ve never made a squirrel filter. That’s a good goal for today.

Colorful bokeh squirrels of different sizes overlapping in the mirrorworld.
My Squirrelly Goals by Maria L. Berg 2022

The Prompts


Name your alter-ego, and then describe him/her in detail. Then write in your alter-ego’s voice.

Poem A Day

Write about what “they” never tell you.

One bokeh squirrel on the lake by some leaves.
Focused by Maria L. Berg 2022

The Poem

They Never Tell Me Where They Put the Goal Posts

They keep moving the goal posts
but never tell me where they put them
always changing the rules when
I think that I’ve learned them

They say good things come to those who wait
but never specify how long or what’s good
And while I’m waiting, imagining my good things coming
they move the goal posts again when I’m not looking

Of course they aren’t the ones in the now
in this crowd, feeling this beat pull them
from their seats to move their well-shoed feet
and return my smile

They say grab life by the horns
but they never say how it feels to be torn
when those horns gore through
or how long it will take for the wounds to heal

They say time heals all wounds
but they never specify how much time
and does this count as time waiting for good things?
Because that feels like a cheat, when the good things
I’m waiting for are a hit song and a huge cheering crowd
I’d rather not have wounds in the first place
if healing them is the good things I’m wasting time
waiting for, and if it’s the wound I got from grabbing
life’s horns, that’s a double cheat.

I shoulda grabbed life by the tail and held on tight
and let my legs fly out behind me
Gotta watch out for hooves ‘n shit, but it’d
be better than being gored and then not
getting good things because I’m waiting for
holes to heal. Where did those goal posts go?

They say nothing lasts forever
but I think waiting might if
I listen to them. Luckily
the music’s so loud
I can’t hear them
I can’t even hear myself

2 thoughts on “Day Eight: They Never Tell You Goals Are Squirrelly

  1. Pingback: Every Limitation an Opportunity | Experience Writing

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