I cannot move,
Paralyzed by fear,
The kind of dread that brings tears to my eyes,
Steals my breath and appetite,
Makes my heart race toward a refuge I cannot reach.
I’m afraid of uncertainty
Compromised physical safety
The vulnerability of my children,
Afraid of the future
And evil everpresent,
Abuses of power too many to count.
My breath is shallow,
My jaw clenched, afraid to speak,
Afraid to say nothing.
Then fear herself takes a seat.
She rests her hand – surprisingly small and warm – on my trembling knee.
I meet the gaze of her gray eyes,
I didn’t intend to frighten you.
I just wanted your attention
For a moment
To point you in a different direction.
She releases her grip
and is gone.
I reach for the comfort of her presence
And discover that she has left me