My Friend and Her Anxiety

by Renwick Berchild

Over and over on a Ferris wheel, she will not come down,
have her meal, will not admit that she is afraid
that the contraption revolving around her heart may one day die.

She’d rather sit there, all hours, observe the heights
and the tops of towers, reach her fingertips up as she drops
to brush the illusions, feel the felt and wool of a god’s eyelash
she dreamt of the night before.

Were she not so easily troubled
by words and ideas directed at her, she might’ve yanked herself
from orbit, and glided onto a shoal of diamond,
cut free her conviction, held it aloft to the spectators and crowds.

But judgment frightens her; she feels humble in her shroud, though she is
a coward, and storms toss her. If night could be shut out by a lover’s hand,
she would welcome it, and cling to romancers forever.

Leaving dread to grow wild in her garden, tall things bursting
overtaking her windows; she will not tend to them, or confront,
she would rather wallow.

Observe the ants following their routes, sit in her burly coat
and draw her name over and over on pages, telling her tales to figures
lined up upon her shelves, giving them
names and backstories, cradling
TV idols and walls.

There is no boat
that could take her now; she is so heavy from the weeds and fantasy,
sunken deep down into her seat, her heart swelled from the tight string
tied about her; no strong man nor mother could wrench her free.

But still I visit her, each Saturday evening, ask her about
her recent hopes and musings. Even though
I know she’s a fool, there is something glorious
about the way she spins in place, caught in a whirlpool
like a great ship.

But somehow, she never wrecks, never dashes completely
over the rocks. I say to her, “Your hull is thick.”
She says back to me, “But my sails are torn.”


One Comment to “My Friend and Her Anxiety”

  1. Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

If you enjoyed the poem. please leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: