So, I spoke to fear
because I could not speak to you
about love or how
when you left me for stars I counted
all my wishes and misses and spoke
the way a baseball bat speaks
to fear of the swing,
the way a castaway speaks fear
to the ocean and distant planets
of other islands.
I spoke to fear
because I could not speak at all
to the planet, the whip
of time passing every day, crack
cut and salt-cobbed.
So, fear spoke back
a long, tedious scolding, impossible
to talk back to.
First published in Poetry Scotland 71, 2011.