M.A. (A Stray)

My anxiety softly touches my hair

in an attempt to soothe my worries. My

anxiety says dark things, half-seriously,

in an attempt to make things light.

I see a stray,

Daisy, and she yells upon sight.

She comes close, and sees I am a flower, too.

We walk on, led by the sunlight.

My anxiety says the rain will come soon,

don’t hold on to hope.

Daisy barks.

She looks at me and knows I needed to feel

like a hero today. Her escape was planned,

her quick glances say. You needed me,

her slowed pace whispers as I cluck my tongue

when she treads too far. I needed you, too.

She goes back home to an owner who yanks her

by her collar. I pull at my ponytail, feeling sick.

I take note of the street, and stare at the house,

forcing myself to remember. Please remember this.

My anxiety tells me to leave. My

anxiety tells me to mind my own business.

I close my eyes. I promise to return often.

She is not a flower wilting. I am not a flower wilting.

We are flowers who have grown a little sideways in our

respective pots. We stretch towards the sunlight,

eyes wide open, away from the dark sneaking closer.

My anxiety smiles and hums.

I walk away, quickening each step.

I don’t feel like a hero. I feel like me as exactly

as I’m supposed to be. I feel weary of being a catalyst,

but my own metamorphosis is pending, I know.

My anxiety halts its persistent humming.

It laughs. And I laugh.

(Because what else is there ever to do?)

Published by Jaz


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