I Am Afraid of a Harmless Thing



I am afraid of a harmless thing.
It looks like it could creep,
or bounce,
or pounce,
or charge awkwardly with its considerable appendages.

But it does none of these.
It stays in place all day long,
content to rest in a single crevice,
or reside in clumps of countless others.

It wishes me no harm;
likewise, I wish it no hurt.
Unlike curious schoolchildren at recess,
I will not examine it,
or smash it,
or dash it,
or remove any of its legs.

But –
I will stand irrationally in fear.
I will freeze in the presence of a childhood phobia.
No matter the logic:
“It can’t bite you,”
“It can’t poison you,”
“It can’t jump on you,”
I will cringe with revulsion and anxiety.
I am afraid of a harmless thing.

It makes me wonder. . .

the word can’t enters our thinking, or
the word won’t enters our hoping, or
the word don’t enters our dreaming,
perhaps we fear something harmless too?

Renee Roederer

[1] Photo Credit: Mehran Moghtadai/Arad/Wikipedia

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