Poetry from The Well

You Can’t Plan for Panic

It was a normal case of nerves until

Things got dizzy.


I smiled at the projection screen,

Third row from the front. One of

One hundred. The meeting began.


The screen began to warp. My legs

And arms tingled while my chest

Clenched, screaming for escape.


I crossed and uncrossed and crossed

And uncrossed my legs.

Finally I let them wiggle.


Would I excuse myself, stumbling,

Apologizing, out of the conference room?

I couldn’t know.


With the neurotic passion of one who prays

To God only in emergencies I begged Him:

Please God, do not let me crumble on the

Floor in a heap.


I sat surrounded by static colleagues.


1:30 came after all, and the room

Eased, filling with voices.


I stood and glided to the door like a flower

Turning to the sun streaking through

Steel clouds.


Coolly I turned to join talk of

Weekend plans.



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