Everything Makes Us Scared

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Carrie Does Poems
Carrie Does Poems
Everything Makes Us Scared

Hi! This year (2023), I’m continuing my quest to share a poem on my blog and podcast and read it aloud. It’s all a part of my quest to be brave and apparently the things that I’m scared about still include:

  1. My spoken voice
  2. My raw poems.

Thanks for being here with me and cheering me on, and I hope that you can become braver this year, too!

For Anne & Maxine

Why is it that the dead

Never listen to my pillow talk?

I am tired, but can’t sleep

Again and again and again.

You snore next to me

And occasionally twitch

As the dog snuggles in between us,

Released from her crate

Because she cries so much.

Again and again and again,

Why is that my whines

Never wake anyone up?

Not even myself.

Everything Makes Us Scared

The professor and his wife argue about the party though they love 
each other.  Chairs are meant to be where exactly 
on the porch? Burgers pre-made or created on site?

He’s a hippie from the Marines. Everywhere is danger, 
possibilities of pain. He wasn’t in a lot of war, but it was enough,
enough to know that things can become out of control 

if you don’t take care. She just wants people to talk, mingle, to eat 
grilled vegetables and be happy, to have a moment away 
from fears and worries of this year, this country, this culture.

He says he isn’t worried. He’s older. He’s seen worse. And when the first guests
come to the party, he knows no-one. They are the mommies, he says. The daycare people. 
Her friends. He lumbers off to the side. 
The charcoal doesn’t light. Of course. Everyone stares.

The grill’s gas is low. Their daughter, three, twirls in circles, studies 
the people, twirls again, a perfect mix of caring too much, caring too little, 
the joy of being alive and chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles and the worry 

of so many faces in her backyard. The mom, she is decades younger;
she’s cleaned the forest of wood, picking it up in the days leading to 
the party. So many potential weapons. A little boy 
takes a ball, pummels another. 

A man says scathing things to his wife, 
cutting her down in warning. 
So many threats. We watch it all. My back 
goes up against the wall of the house, 
spine hitting shingles. They talk about pandemics, 
violence. So many threats. We murmur our agreement. 

Everything. Everything makes us scared. 

Hey, thanks for listening to Carrie Does Poems.

The music you hear is made available through the creative commons and it’s a bit of a shortened track from the fantastic Eric Van der Westen and the track is called “A Feather” and off the album The Crown Lobster Trilogy.

Author: carriejonesbooks

I am the NYT and internationally-bestselling author of children's books, which include the NEED series, FLYING series, TIME STOPPERS series, DEAR BULLY and other books. I like hedgehogs and puppies and warm places. I have none of these things in my life.

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