Sunday, April 12, 2015

Morning purge

last night
lying in bed doing one of my
constant self exams
i found a hard, little, pea-sized lump -- i thought
                          i did --
the kind they tell you about, the kind
they warn you
i panicked
i trembled
i shook -- i couldn't stop shaking --
i said, as my husband held me:

i am afraid

i am afraid of everything
i have always been

and he wrapped his arms around me and listened,
then eventually
as i listed the fears
in my head,
as i trembled:

fear of sickness
fear of death
fear of aging
fear of losing my parents
       my sister
       my husband,


(fear of my kids leaving me)

fear of war,
fear of terrorism on home soil,
fear of storms that will lower trees onto our home with a blow
razes things.

fear of fire
fear of police killing innocent men
fear of politicians who seek to spiral our world backwards,
fear of something happening to the goddamned dog.

                              (the dog that i didn't even want in the first place,
                               the dog that looks at me with soulful eyes,
the dog that i love,
         that i coddle like a goddamned child,
the dog that,
last night,
as i trembled and shook,
              that is not one to cuddle,
got up without a sound
and moved his sweet self from
his usual spot near the bottom of the bed
     to the curve of my side
and stayed there

(goddamned dog)

fear of my sons being hurt or unsuccessful or sad
(crushingly sad,
brokenly sad),

fear of global warming of
        seas evaporating, of the dry earth scorched,
of glaciers melting
and tornadoes erasing everything in their path.

fear of a tiny, pea-sized lump
that will terrorize and undo me

fear that i will not find the strength.
the strength so many others have,
wear like a second skin,
like proof,
like a shining badge of courage,

fear that the two little books i will leave are nothing
not much,
not really,
do not make a mark
my mark,
do not amount to a hill of beans,
will say nothing about me, about the struggle,
will not show how deeply i loved,
how hard i tried
how much i wanted to amount to more than
a carbon footprint

last night i could not stop shaking,
i told myself not to check and recheck, but i did,
because i am weak,
because i fear
(i fear
                  i fear. . .)
i fear.

and the pea-sized lump had moved, was less, was maybe
not so hard,
was maybe not there

but still, i kept trembling,
and feeling

i lay awake
dog pressed to my side
if i will have the strength,
a fight,
if i will find the joy
              in the hardest parts,

if i can find the grace.