“When You’re Afraid…” by Gregory Orr

Gregory Orr


When you’re afraid
You’re afraid
Of something.

When you dread,
It’s Nothing
That you dread
(so the philosopher

Can be
But don’t get
Confused: a blank
Page in the Book
Isn’t Nothing.

It’s something
Waiting to happen,
It’s the beloved
Holding her breath,
Hoping you’ll write or call.

from Rattle #24, Winter 2005


Gregory Orr: “I apologize if these words seem really simple or simplistic, but to me when you read a poem that really, really moves you, you get both hope and courage from it. You really do. I know these words are hard to work with, because they sound naive. But they’re not naive, they’re fundamental. I think when I read a poem that deeply moves me, that feels beautiful and moving, I feel as though I’ve been given more courage to live.” (web)

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