This is where I yank the old roots
from my chest, like the tomatoes
we let grow until December, stalks
thick as saplings
This is the moment where the ancient fears
race like thoroughbreds, asking for more
and more rein. And I, the driver,
for some reason they know nothing of
strain to hold them back.
Terror grips me like a virus
and I sweat, fevered,
trying to burn it out.
This fear is invisible. All you can see
is a woman going about her ordinary day,
drinking tea, taking herself to the movies,
reading in bed. If victorious
I will look exactly the same.
Yet I am hoisting a car from mud ruts
half a century deep. I am hacking
a clearing through the fallen slash
of my heart. Without laser precision,
with only the primitive knife of need, I cut
and splice the circuitry of my brain.
From The Courage To Heal by Ellen Bass and Laura Davies