Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Taxonomy of Fears

Done to or done by?
Will she be well, will he be kind?
What sort of damage will they inflict on those they love
and on the world?

Acts of man, acts of god.
Is there a spark in the wall,
waiting for a finger or a flammable scrap
or a vapor that shouldn't be there waiting for a spark?
And the two come together like the opposite of a lottery ticket
and the house goes up in a woof like god's great dane warning off a prowler,
and that's it.

Diseases and other disasters natural, financial, and emotional.
Was that a cough? Is that rash chronic, or acute?
What slight signs of future calamity am I missing?
The wind is picking up.
I should have trimmed that tree in the front yard.
My boss. Arthritis. Malaise.
Was the kid who coughed on our groceries unvaccinated?
Are the squirrels back in the attic?
What am I missing?
Fold and pocket them carefully and listen
to the still house breathing in the dark.

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