I waited, holding the strap on the bus,
Steady, smooth skinned, hair back -
Then a sharpness rose to scratch me
And I heard a single sentence - a message.
“You are afraid of just about everything
And you are afraid almost all of the time.”
For example, afraid that the house will be robbed,
That the people who love me will leave,
That the boss will call me in to share
That it’s not working out. . .I could go on.
“It could all be taken away,couldn’t it?”
Said the voice just before I said shut up.
In present tense a dear friend asks
How these fears and taunts, self generated,
Given that they are not based
In objective fact or observable evidence.
Years ago, my father would raise two fingers,
A stump of a bludgeon aimed
At a place between my eyes asking
What are you thinking?
I am thinking that it will all fall apart
That flight will amount to curtailed wing spread -
That I will contend with assaults without defense -
That I will never have answers for the "Then what?"
My fear is:
Pervasive in its smell and sensation -
Penetrating, going deep in the way of vapors-
Persistent, staying for hours following contact -
Putrid, held as it was in darkness for years.
With an index finger
Placed over tight closed lips.
I ask for there to be an end
Sparked by a crucial discovery
That leads to silence.
February 4, 2010