central wheel of the family machine,
eyes in the back of my head,
keeper of the warm kitchen,
indefatigable source of love,
practitioner of faith in the spirit of hearth and home.
Fear is a jealous god, though –
demanding full sacred attention of my soul.
when bills stand unpaid and my checking account is a dry ditch,
when the spiders in my yard spin and squeal like breaking fan belts,
dry and drinking, begging for more.
There is always more
and never enough
to soothe the scratched places of eyes scarred from hard crying.
He didn’t call her on her birthday,
so knives paid visits to her room when I wasn’t looking.
Mistakes perch patiently upon her window sill
singing funeral songs,
Piranhas swim about the driveway
where my son’s car should be at this late hour.
They tumble over each other like drunken words,
could swallow the universe whole in one ugly bite.
Worries fill my blistered hands.
I pray myself empty.
Internal combustion burning hope
20 miles to the gallon,
expanses of lonely landscape lie restless
between pages of the calendar,
I am alone with
gray, ticking time,
failure, threats and regrets –
this is the Temple of Anxiety
and I am the faithful
brought to my knees,
praying that the God of Dread
will let me be.