Compromised Field

Beige.
That’s the color I’m seeing.
You are not anxious.
You are full on
terrorized.
You have no middle ground—
If you speak
and don’t get it exactly right
the blowback
will be fast,
and from every angle.

Decide where you want to belong.
Forge your path there.

People terrify me.
And I’m not saying
I want you to be afraid—
I want you to give each fear
it’s own sterile place.

brutally, surgically
remove the cancer,
use radiation,
–whatever you need—
then leave it.
Once you aren’t thundering from it
you might find an easier, softer sound.

It’s not a benign subject.
I’m about a mile from home.
Cover all your bases.

By Shareen Ayoub Mansfield
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