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                                          SEVEN ANXIETIES YOU CAN HAVE

             1.The Body 

               Am I too fat? Too thin? Do I dare to eat a peach

               Or any damn thing. Do I need my nose done

               My lips, my chin?

               A tuck under my chin

               Like god tucking me in



               Does he love me? Does he love me not?

               Does he even know what love is

               That damn egocentric, narcissistic

               Selfish son of a lonely man who never knew how to

               What a bore this therapy sometimes is


             3.The Children 

               Should I keep letting them go to their 

               Fathers? Wonít his endless depression

               Affect them badly? Would it be worse for them

               If I said No, donít go, youíre never going there again

               Wasnít it bad enough that I put up with him all those years

               Are the sins of the father visited upon the children

               During visits. Enough. Iíll go to court. All these fears.


             4.The House on Holidays 

               Did I turn off the Gas? Did I turn on the gas?

               Did I remember to bite his cheek? Feed the dog?

               Feed the demon of my strange relationship with mother?

               Will I get published in the New Yorker? Can I breathe

               Under the sea. Will Gwyneth Paltrow be able to do me?

               What a bore this therapy is sometimes

             5.Relationships Again 

               Maybe this time I can get it right?

               Does he even know what it means to me 

               Walking out alone after all this time into that dark and unknown night

               Another human being into my life, my series of lives

               Surely after all this therapy Iíll get it right

               Wish I had the courage, wish I had the fight

               Wish I had the body of the girl I was

               All those worlds away

               Sixteen, hopeful, fearful and tight


             6.For Money 

               I never should have taken on the house

               But if he loves me wonít he keep me

               Why does he spend so much

               Time with his secretary

               Could I face work again? What could I do?

               Can I afford this therapy? Can I afford not to?


             7.And Love

                    How do we make that? The porcupines, the music

                    The moon, the biscuits, patiently and tenderly

                    Like wind, like shared experience, the glass sea

                    The garden, cooking, both of us reading

                    The earth heaving up like magma

                    All this fire and smoke and mirrors

                    The Americans running everything

                    What to expect. They lied. They didnít have the subtlety

                    The time, the longer view, the ice-age

                    The bird flies up through that crack in imagery, that sky

                    Never quite meeting the two tectonic plates

                    I meet in therapy each week, the gin

                    How strong she is, how surprising

                    My father, my mother, how grey, how thin

                    And all that shit, singing

                    Every atom glowing After all this time, bodyrelationshipsfriends

                    childrenclothesbooks, phone calls, these endless phone calls, this voice

                    The house on holidays, these relationships again, this honey, this ruin,

                    This blood, this money, this currency, this fluency

                    This language, this poetry, this music


Lyndon Walker

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