Thursday, January 7, 2010


Afraid of working for thirty years
and finding out at a doctor’s office
that I’ve got some incurable disease.
Pancreatic cancer like my grandmother
or Lou Gehrig’s disease like Cousin Eric.
A stroke, skin cancer, massive heart attack
in my easy chair one Tuesday afternoon
watching CNN or The Weather Channel.

Afraid of not getting to travel the world, never
seeing the Eifel Tower, The Great Wall of China,
Egypt’s pyramids, a soccer game in England.
Afraid I won’t see my son begin his life or
if I don’t live long enough to meet his wife
and kids or afraid I won’t be around
long enough to take them to all the places
I went with him when he was a young boy.

Afraid to know that I won’t be remembered
by too many people as time keeps moving on.
Afraid of not waking up one night, dying from
sleep apnea and my wife would have to deal
with big dead me. I wouldn’t want her to have
to tell my son, Come up here son,say goodbye,
your father is gone, have a moment with him
before I call the rescue squad to take him

And with all this thinking of myself, my selfish thoughts,
I think about one day having to bury my wife or son,
this is truly my worst fear, a thousand times more.

*Ideas for this were sparked at a NYC writing workshop with Denise Duhamel after she shared with us the poem of the same title, My Worst Fear by Cyn Zarco. I let it sit,pecked at it a bit,then polished it. LL


Anonymous said...

I can really relate to these feelings--fear of death, health concerns. As for family, my mom is in her 80's and as each year goes by, I dread the inevitable. Thanks for sharing this poem.

Susanne49 said...

I think all these fears are in all of us!
Beautiful written again, Lorenzo, very touching.

EFunkAmericana said...

wow ... excellent work

i particularly like how you build to the end, and how unexpectedly (and yet inexorably) you turn the poem on its head

oh yes

Senorita said...

Wow, that is a lot of fear. I hope none of that happens.


I too can relate to much of what you wrote. My son was diagnosed 2 yrs ago with cancer.......luckily he's in remission but last year I had a smear test which was adnormal, boy wasn't I afraid I had cancer.....I have a morbid fear of cancer. I had more test which proved cancer was not found but have to have 6 monthly check ups, fear is an awful thing to live with but I am trying to be more hopeful this year.
Most interesting post.


sonia said...

it feels good to have my own fears voiced by someone else.

WR said...

Fear is the wild beast of aggressively drags us away from NOW and NOW is really the only moment we have.

JH_Poetry said...

I agree, we all fear the demise of oneself.

drkelp said...

A great poem with an interesting theme.