Ten Years Ago I Wanted to Pierce My Nose


Ten years ago I wanted to pierce my nose

but I joined a firm instead.

My partners thought it wild,

clashing with the cobalt blue seriousness

of our office walls and wisdom.

So I waited til I left the firm to pierce my nose.

My daughters had theirs pierced by then.

Yet I caved in to pressure in the last minute:

it will jeopardize your reputation, and

the outcome of your case

may be prejudiced, prejudged, predetermined

by another’s preconceived¬†notions

about piercings and morals and drugs,

noise like that, which I know is just bull shit.

But I chickened out, and now my nose

has grown long with age, and the piercing

would not look right wedged between wrinkled

doubt and oily regrets oozing from gaping pores.

I’ve made a mess of this decision.

Has it been ten years since I wanted to pierce my nose?


4 thoughts on “Ten Years Ago I Wanted to Pierce My Nose

  1. This piece really spoke to me. I will be 50 in May and I have 3 rings in my right nostril and a bunch of tattoos. I am a teacher but have been one so long that no one says anything to me anymore. All of this is my calling card to the “bad ass” kids who are my tribe.

    I played the same ping pong match in my head with the critics in my life and they lost…narrowly.

    I have read many of your marathon pieces and I really appreciate the authenticity of your writing voice. Thank you.

    1. Yes, I am a teacher exclusively now so it is more acceptable. I’m saving the piercing for a milestone event, like a reward. Thank you again for the comment. I have volunteered to do the same but just woke up. Yikes.

  2. I pierced my nose in my 40s, in grad school, which was a pivotal event for me. I say do it! I put it off for years because my mom filled my head with all these fears about what could happen (NONE of it did. She meant well.) I’d always wanted one, my aunt has had one since the early 70s. And it was the best thing I’d ever done for myself. Now I want to write a poem about it! My next thing is a tattoo (just one)…and I’m waiting for the right event for that. Never too late to pierce your nose!

    1. Yes! Thank you for the vote of confidence. I too was in grad school in my 40s, when I first wanted to do it. I’m sure I will.

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