My path to poetry was slow and meandering. When I eventually found my way to graduate school at 29, making a life as a poet seemed like a bohemian fantasy. But maybe my zigzagging trajectory is just an excuse for tardiness, when fear is really the root of any reason I might give. My perfectionism and pace are certainly driven by fear that a poem is imperfect or incomplete. More significantly, my struggle to fully dedicate myself to poetry was a fear of failure.