Readers' Poems

A Reader Shares Her Poem: The Shadow of Fear by Alexis Rose

If I Could Tell You How It Feels by Alexis Rose

The Shadow of Fear

The shadow of fear
disguises itself as
a branch without leaves
waving in the dark of night.
Or the touch of the wind
grazing my cheeks when I turn a corner.
It’s the sound of a car
rolling slowly to a stop
behind me.
Or the person I see walking
in the distance who morphs into
a threat from long ago.
The shadow of fear at times
leaves me doubting
if breaking my silence was best.
Or if the truth was better left
in the dark, unsaid, silenced
in the protective bubble that
perpetrators depend on to thrive.
The Shadow of fear often brings
the past soaring into the present.
But then, the sun shifts.
I hear birds singing, children laughing
and a friend recounting their weekend.
The shadow retreats; withdraws
to the edges, lurking, waiting
to see if the past will preside
or the cleansing exhale will bring
me back to the present, to the safety
of the here and now.
The shadow of fear has many disguises
and with time, I will eventually
unmask them all.

By Alexis Rose from her book, If I Could Tell You How It Feels: My Life Journey with PTSD

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