The Ballad of Night Anxious
What does it matter where my body happens to be? My mind goes on working all the same.
I’ve done it again. Unwitting, unwelcome,
I’ve woken up Knight Anxious,
all creeping worries and lingering thoughts,
all lists and fears, tapeworms,
my warts magnified fivefold by the conjured dangers of the night.
He heralds tumbling tonefalls, a rain-soaked day ahead.
Regardless of the weather, he never cooks the pudding,
yet proud of his invention, he harrumphs on horses high,
failure denigrated, unhinged from little pleasures,
unwashed with median joys.
He watches, waits, then pounces, always the live menace,
but always unexpected.
After all this time
I still can’t find the trigger
nor welcome him sagely
nor sluice him off like wet reproaches.
I hesitate just one second:
each time the haircracks multiply,
he seeps through, sucking
all air from the cave of my lungs:
We soldier on, we soldier on, mounted or on foot,
no end in sight, no redeeming dawn,
we balance, we teeter… and some of us fall.