I used to be afraid
All of the time… Afraid of living
And afraid of dying
I was afraid of many bugs
And afraid to be in a house with roaches
Afraid of sleeping without a light on—
Afraid when shadows moved outside my bedroom window.
Afraid someone would break in the house.
Afraid my dreams were real…nightmares.
Afraid to pick up fried chicken with my fingers,
Afraid I would drop food in my lap.
Or get barbeque sauce all over my face –
Afraid I would sit the wrong way
Afraid I would walk improperly.
Afraid I might say something “stupid”
Afraid if I was in a crowd.
Uncomfortable at parties,
Afraid to even go shopping.
Afraid I would make someone angry.
Afraid I would get in trouble for something.
Afraid I might make a mistake.
Afraid of that look!
Afraid of a tight grip!
Just plain afraid –
Afraid if a car slowed down close too me.
Afraid to walk down the street alone.
Afraid if I met a stranger passing on the sidewalk.
But I went in the Army right out of High School!
Now, I am not afraid of anything!
(Except maybe a snake coming
Toward me after I tried to scare it off! LOL)
I’m not afraid to spill food, drool,
Stumble with my cane or walk alone at night.
I’m not afraid to shop in the wee hours of the morning.
I am not even afraid to hunt and photograph alligators.
I speak to strangers and watch bugs with fascination.
I do not care how anyone looks at me
And so what if I make a mistake.
I love to be outside at night looking at the stars.
So, with old age, I overcame many fears!
But I still would not pet a tiger unless it had a muzzle
…I don't think.
© February 9, 2012
Dane Ann Smith-Johnsen
Written for Poetry Soup Member Contest: Fear
Sponsored by Debbie Guzzie