Sometimes, all on our own, we only have to take
a flat shovel to fear, plop it into a light-duty
wheelbarrow, push it to the evening’s horizon,
dump it, and wipe our hands on our shirts;
perhaps the next morning look to the east,
ready to do it again. But sometimes at home,
and all alone, we wake to find that fear slithered
into our mailboxes and left no return address.
Fear somehow got into our garbage, our driveways,
our yards, our private rooms. Somehow fear, robed
in explosives, crept up on us, stole our blue skies,
turned them inside out, and hurled them
into the edifices of our humanity.
We must not confront fear alone!
We must get down on hands and knees together
and move the rubble with our faith, ignoring
the reality that fear could ambush us
again as we desperately dig —
our trembling fingers our jackhammers,
our shortness of breath fueling our will,
our unison of community heartbeats our savior.
STEVEN M SMITH'S poems have appeared in publications such as Rattle, Kansas Quarterly, New Collage Magazine, Chiron Review, West Wind Review, Fox Cry, Cold Mountain Review, Poem, Luna Negra, Old Red Kimono, Plainsongs, and Mudfish.