Just as storms you almost went shopping for

/ unwanted glances that you tried to “act normal,

breathe in, smile back” and 

(cellphone) alarms you set earlier/ because

you hoped to be stronger and better/ 

but knew your comfort zone, and when

it’d be exited-

That sinking feeling returns.


And even though your coping mechanism is

not as fresh as much oiled wheel it could be-

It’s not completely inept.

You are not standing utterly still (because you know

squeaky wheels don’t go far.)


And you’ve been told “a closed mouth

doesn’t get fed.” 

Even though the speaker knows/ your face

chances when there’s a promise

of dinner- Uncomplicated, portioned

and fair for all.


That sinking feeling-

A brandishing cloak of helplessness-

Going somewhere on the interstate/

and this familiar road becomes crowded.

And 3 dollars in your pocket, 

you have to exit because your tank

is on “E.”


Or when yearning – And promised to be

fed – That promise is never kept

and you go hungry but pay for

what you ordered- Because somehow

you ordered this.-

Because you opened up.


That sinking feeling- 

the helpless, exorbitant nothing

you could do-

The moment you did everything you could-

You’ve said your prayers,

and laid out tomorrow’s plan

and set the alarm.


But the power goes out,

and you’ve over slept

because the alarm never sounded

even though you set the 

trap yourself.


Clockwise, you rotate

the stages of grief.

hoping to

eventually reach

the happy hours.


(CAK 11-12-12)