How your concern catches me off guard, your worry.
I awoke early, from my own overflow of parental worry.
The maple leaves in the alcove above the fireplace
are red and burnished, curled but know no worry.
I held all in and let you get out the strong varnished door
without seeing remnants of my relentless worry.
Generations of collected works behind her, the poet speaks
of nothing, everything, silence, the young dead, but not of worry.
Except once Szymborska wrote, I move about the planet in a crush of other debtors which seems to me to mimic worry.
I had hoped a better poem would drive forward in a flurry
of metaphor without hyperbole, in order to highlight my worry.
With roundabouts, I keep intending to exit, my navigation system
advises me as I continue circling, that it’s of little use to worry.
The four exits confuse me and I feel I’m getting dizzy
as Subarus and Vanagons behind me repeat honking at my worry.
So, there you are eyeing me with concern as you head out to exercise
at dawn, impressive in your matter-of-fact rejection of excess worry.
This obsession could become a crash on impact for the sleep deprived.
Mary Ellen would like to pause to park, to toss away my worry.
Mary Ellen Talley’s poems have recently been published in Raven Chronicles, U City Review and Ekphrastic Review as well as in anthologies, All We Can Hold and Ice Cream Poems. Her poetry has received two Pushcart Nominations. Experience working in special education as a speech-language pathologist (SLP) in Washington State Public Schools informs her poetry.