Anne Mok

Just Afraid

Suspended on
a Ferris Wheel,
No way off
No way down
Gripping the handlebar,
Peering over the side
At miniature people, cars, trees.
I am not afraid of heights.
I am just afraid of falling.

Shrinking behind
My mom, closing my eyes
To keep from having to
Look at his face
See his fake smiling expression,
His flamboyant clothing and face paint
Inches from where I recoil.
I am not afraid of clowns.
I am just afraid of false faces.

Creeping down
The hallway, late at night
Groping for a light switch
That should be inches from my hand.
A door creaks,
The wind whistles,
But the thudding of my heart is louder.
I am not afraid of the dark.
I am just afraid of what lies behind it.

Hours spent
With everlasting marathons on TV,
Browsing the internet,
Calling people I haven’t seen in ages,
Searching for something,
Anything to distract myself from
My endless to-do list.
I am not afraid of hard work.
I am just afraid to try only to fail.

Staring at
Nothing at all.
Thinking, maybe if I just wait,
An idea will come.
So I sit until I am running out of time,
Finally, tapping on the keyboard,
Words spill from my fingers,
From my core,
Revealing who I am --

I am not afraid of writing poetry.
I am just afraid of showing the world
The secrets, the fears, the weaknesses I hide


Copyright 2002-2008 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2008 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.