Fear Lives In The Body

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Contributor: Madlynn Haber

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Fear lives in the body.
Fear hides in the body
deep in the muscles
fear stores itself away,
waiting, lurking, until
with the right trigger
it is released.

The muscles tighten or loosen,
contract somehow, then fear oozes out.
Catching a ride on some internal fluid,
fear starts to float all over.
Cheeks and ears redden,
the neck, top of the chest get rashy
when fear is floating by.
Chills in the spine. Excess water
in the eyes drips out,
not like tears so much
because it’s fear not sadness.
Slight tremors in the hands,
legs moving without direction.

There is too much to be afraid of now.
Too many people gunned down for no reason.
No place is safe when every place is vulnerable.
People are full of misplaced rage.
Angry for the wrong reasons,
directing it in the wrong places,
at the wrong people. Hateful speech,
words spoken that shouldn’t be said,
shouldn’t even be thought.
Not recognizing the sameness of all beings.
Seeing differences in an extreme.
Believing lies, made up stories that
entitle one group to have more,
to be more important, more pampered,
more cared for. Entitling some to be fed,
while others starve, some to be carefree
while others are chained.
Anger misdirected brings on fear,
greed overwhelms with fear.
Ignoring in ignorance the truth
that we are all the same.
Fear lives in the body.

The body breathes,
The body moves.
The body dances, stretches.
The body is nourished and heals.
The body makes love,
fills up again with goodness,
with delight, with pleasure,
with sensations that soothe,
ease and calm the spirit.
In tranquility fear goes back to hiding.
Fear quiets down. It stops screaming.
There is sleep. There is rest.
There is wholesome recovery
in the face of compassion, of understanding.
At least for a time, there is love.

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Madlynn Haber has work in Anchor Magazine , Exit 13 Magazine, The Voices Project, The Jewish Writing Project, Quail Bell, Mused and Hevria.


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