“I am sorry about my fear”

I am sorry about my fear
it was my mind’s way
of avoiding pain

I know you loved me
you asked me to stay
that made me want to leave

I loved the feel of your
body beneath mine
it was always best

in the morning, the sun
on your skin, the bottles
of Speakeasy beer on the floor

by the bed, but the burning
inside my heart was not
passion, but fear

and the beer smelled
and the sun was too bright
and I just wanted to be without

* * * * *

This poem is in response to a prompt at Big Tent Poetry that begins “I am sorry about…”. I also used a Prompt Mash-Up from Not Without Poetry:

The following prompts are from Bill Alton. Use them as titles, opening lines, or combine all of them into a single poetic form.

1. My body is a speakeasy.
2. Morning comes without the sun.
3. I loved him most when he asked me to leave.
4. Pain is the mind’s way of burning through fear.

Process Notes: I took all of the nouns from the sentences above (body, speakeasy, morning, sun, pain, mind’s way, and fear),  some of the verbs (loved, asked, leave), one adjective (burning) and one preposition (without).

24 thoughts on ““I am sorry about my fear”

  1. Viv, thank you. You ask a great question. And I love the phrase “expressed this beautifully”.

    Tilly, yes, isn’t that awareness ironic?

    Ron, thank you. I know how I imagine that scene in my head. Glad it works for you too.

    Judy, I think you nailed it there, the difference between the head and the heart.

    Paula, thanks. Glad you liked it.

    Mary, yes, that other irony, that we can get something beautiful out of pain.


  2. Amy, I agree. As I read this one again – it seems much more of a downer than my other poems – like it’s lacking something – which I think it is – I think it’s that feeling/thought process of a much, much younger me that I was trying to tap into.

    earlybird, thank you. I like that second stanza too. Sometimes you can paint an image and sometimes you can just say something.


  3. M.A.S., thanks. I’m glad you liked that last stanza. “Speakeasy” struck me as the word that was going to be the hardest to incorporate.

    Irene, thanks. I’m pleased with that last stanza myself, particularly the last line. Glad it worked for you too.

    Mike, thank you for your thoughtful comment. If we don’t face our pain and fears, then we can’t find the strength of the spirit within us.


  4. This is a brilliant piece, surprisingly coherent and perfected considering the prompt process used to create it. Really good! I spent the first quarter-century of my life in fear and this is SO how I felt. Again, brilliant.


  5. I don’t think this poem is lacking or missing anything. It speaks of what we long for, but fear beyond all else, and how acting on the fear leaves us without. We do it again and again, always confused by our own seemingly perverse actions. We avoid pain only to wrap ourselves up in that very reality. I think this is a magnificent exploration of all of that.



  6. Kim, thank you. I, too, am surprised how something coherent comes into being as I try to connect words like that, but it’s a process that seems to work for me. I love the word “brilliant”.

    Laurie, thanks for the kind words. Glad the images worked. Luckily, I don’t have that fear anymore; that was a long time ago for me.

    Briarcat, I don’t miss it either. Thanks for stopping by.

    Elizabeth, you humble me. Your words are so thoughtful, kind, and eloquent. I’m just going to say “thank you”.


  7. Speakeasy was a word with stickers for me, barbs, pulled me in even if uneasily. Old-fashioned but interesting. The whole combination was interesting & full of lots of senses. It works.


  8. Deb, thank you. I think speakeasy is such a great word. It brings up associations; and if you look at it as a compound word, there’s even more going on there. I’m gratified that you think it works.


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