Tag Archives: fear

Your Grandmother’s Vase

Published / by Gabriel / Leave a Comment

I broke your grandmother’s vase.
The blue one, patterned with lilacs,
liberated from a secondhand store
in Czechoslovakia in 1939.

Like your grandmother,
it came with stories:
she talked a German officer
into buying it for her
in exchange for a date
she never showed up for,
the year her brother
put her on a train with a trunk
full of dresses and a little sister,
a hundred korunas sewn
into her underwear, where she knew
no one would find them.

I broke your grandmother’s vase.
I knocked it off the shelf,
dove to catch it, missed,
and watched it shatter into
thirty-nine pieces, patterned with lilacs.
Thirty-nine, because I counted
every piece as I hid them
in a drawer in the shed behind
the house, beside the hammer
and wrench, where I knew
you would not find them.

Worry Eater

Published / by Gabriel / Leave a Comment

I have put a Worry Eater on your bookshelf,
right beside your favorite books.

It may look like a simple wooden box,
but don’t be fooled: it is a Worry Eater

and the disguise is just so random visitors will
not know what it is and try to take it from you.

Worry Eaters are very rare and coveted things.

I should think the name should be self-explanatory,
but you must feed it daily in order
to keep your Worry Eater happy and full.

Feeding it is simple:
open the lid and whisper your worries in,
or write them on little scraps of paper

(lined college-ruled will do,
but the margins of old poems
make a special treat if you want
to do something nice for your Worry Eater.)

Some people may tell you,
“Don’t worry, everything will be alright,” but these people
do not have a hungry Worry Eater waiting at home,

so you can just smile coyly at them and say, “Yes,
you’re right,” and then go home and whisper
your secret worries to your secret Worry Eater.

Walk Through The Night

Published / by Gabriel / Leave a Comment

From time to time,
the sun will set on you,
and the night will be long
and the stars will bury their faces
in the folds of a sky full of clouds.

When that happens,
reach out your hands
and take a step.

It is okay to stumble blindly,
so long as you stumble,
and if all of a sudden
there is no ground beneath you,
it is alright if you fall
until the ground comes back.

No matter how long the night,
no matter how dark the stars,
the sun will spill back
over the black horizon,
and flood the world with
orange and yellow and light
and when you can see again
you be standing on ground
your feet do not yet know,
but are ready to learn.