Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday Poetry Stretch - Fear

Yes, I'm two days past Monday, but in my defense I was traveling and had little time for online pursuits. I suppose I could always post early, but stretches tend to be inspired by circumstance. I'm not sure it would be much fun to post 52 stretches for the year and just let them launch on their own.

The anniversary of my sister-in-law's death is approaching and we're all facing it with more than a bit of trepidation. Suicide is such a difficult thing. We're still trying to make sense of something that just can't be understood. 

I've been writing a lot these days about darkness and fear, so I guess now is as good a time as any to tackle this topic. Are you afraid of flying? Failure? Heights? Spiders? Something more sinister? Let's write about that this week.


  1. Car Breaks Down, and You’re Outside

    watching late-December snowflakes
    in the cruel glow of a streetlight

    and have no change for the payphone.
    This, the only one for nine miles,

    of course. These days it’s hard to find
    something wired. Leave your cell phone home

    and sorry, dude, but it’s like Neil
    Armstrong, space-suited, in moon boots,

    helmet mike frozen without juice—
    it’s that lonely. Yet at least you’ve

    got that streetlight still. And time moves
    at the same pace it always moves,

    in a high-tide onrush. Resign
    yourself to hiking toward town. Pray

    a police cruiser or snow plow
    is on night rounds. It’s not so cold.

    A cab might even come. Don’t shake.
    All wolves died out long ago. Save

    what can be saved—and that means you.
    The fat snow hides footprints now. Go.

    Poem © 2013 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

  2. Much to admire here, Steven! Julie

  3. I wrote this earlier in the year on the day I was off to a small operation. Turned out much easier recovery than my fears.

    Under the Knife

    I have volunteered for this, to see better,
    but all I have seen so far is a week of bad dreams,
    my heartbeat raised sufficiently that last night
    I could count the drum roll: a stomach of large stones,
    a mouth full of sea sand.
    My daughter drives me
    in her tumbrel to the place of execution.
    We do not speak of my fear or hers, disguising
    with small talk, laughter, plans for tomorrow,
    that mortality stuff neither of us wants to confront.

    I have volunteered for this, to see better.
    It should be making things easier.
    It is making them worse.

    ©2013 Jane Yolen, all rights reserved


    When Mom died last year
    A piece of me went with her.
    My life is lopsided, I flit between
    Daydreams and reality. Late at night
    When Dad thinks I'm asleep I can hear
    Him crying in his bedroom. I keep Mom's
    Picture on my dresser, tell her about my
    Latest crush at school, an A+ I received
    in History, how I now eat her favorite
    foods more often, spaghetti and meatballs,
    Cheddar biscuits, strawberry ice cream.
    One night when Dad and I were watching
    A basketball game I blurted out "I miss her."
    He took a deep breath and said "Me too."
    I don't want my father to die, especially
    Of a broken heart, he's all I have left.

    (C) Charles Waters 2013 all rights reserved.

    1. So sweet, Charles. Thanks for sharing it!