Anxious and unafraid


As a child,

Many a night I awoke

With a fast-beating heart

Wrenched from

The dream that seemed

More real

Than the friendly darkness

Of my bedroom

Just a bad dream

I thought

Just a bad dream

Still, I called

For my mother

To tell me what

I already knew

Now I know

Even more

About dreams

They’re neither good nor bad

My thinking makes them so

A dream to escape

A nightmare to escape

Change the word and

I change the story

My dreams of anxiety

Where nothing would go right

Aren’t just past-tense

Still, I dream

Times still I wake

Wrenched from

The vivid lights of neon dreams

Their fast-fading remnants

Lighting a less familiar room

It was just a bad dream

These words I think

To myself

And then

The words

That I keep

To myself

As I awaken further

Into the somnambulance of

Learning to live

Learning to be

Anxious and unafraid