Doubt hides her face in shadows,
covers all the mirrors in her house.
She wears pale gray like a dreary morning,
or rain clouds on the horizon.
She has glossophobia,
But there is nothing the doctors can do to help.
She is the girl who can never decide
on a favorite color or a Beatles’ song
because she always regrets her answer later.
Doubt almost never leaves home.
Her sister, Loneliness, tells her she must get out more,
feel the air on her skin, the sun on her back.
But Doubt will not join Loneliness,
for Doubt is afraid and Loneliness must see
the world by herself, walking the city at night
while Doubt tosses and turns in her twin bed
in her closet of a room,
squeezing her eyes shut as her head
throbs from the worries she keeps quiet.
Doubt wants the windows removed
from the 56th floor apartment they share.
But Loneliness insists
on staring out at the people who walk below.
When the afternoon sun blazes,
golden glare on Doubt’s face,
such a tired and weary face
for such a young girl,
she throws the blanket over her head, afraid.
It is only in the early morning,
when the sun has yet to venture across the sky,
and the stores are closed, the grass cool with dew,
the only sound the dripping of leftover rain from the pipes,
that for a moment Doubt pulls the blanket from her face
and opens her eyes, and turns to her window,
parting the curtains slightly to peek outside,
while the birds sing their same tunes.
But then the moment passes,
and the sun goes on rising, and the stores open,
and she throws the covers over again
to protect herself, for there is only one thing
Doubt is sure of, and that is the dark.
—from 2016 Rattle Young Poets Anthology
Why do you like to write poetry?
Shira Moolten: “I like to write poetry because I’ve always liked to build and to imagine, and it allows me to combine the two and create something meaningful.”