Afraid So by Jeanne Marie Beaumont
MARGINALIA • SKIP TO THE POEM
Almost two in the morning. Barefoot and wrapped in a grey blanket I’ve given to myself as a gift just because. I am listening to Thibault Cauvin’s interpretation of Mad Rush by Philip Glass.
There are so many things I have yet to do. And yet here I am with a poem, always another poem.
Will I always get hurt. Will there be more. What I am saying is: here is a poem.
Jeanne Marie Beaumont
Is it starting to rain?
Did the check bounce?
Are we out of coffee?
Is this going to hurt?
Could you lose your job?
Did the glass break?
Was the baggage misrouted?
Will this go on my record?
Are you missing much money?
Was anyone injured?
Is the traffic heavy?
Do I have to remove my clothes?
Will it leave a scar?
Must you go?
Will this be in the papers?
Is my time up already?
Are we seeing the understudy?
Will it affect my eyesight?
Did all the books burn?
Are you still smoking?
Is the bone broken?
Will I have to put him to sleep?
Was the car totaled?
Am I responsible for these charges?
Are you contagious?
Will we have to wait long?
Is the runway icy?
Was the gun loaded?
Could this cause side effects?
Do you know who betrayed you?
Is the wound infected?
Are we lost?
Will it get any worse?
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This poem appeared in Curious Conduct by Jeanne Marie Beaumont, published by BOA Editions, 2004. Shared here with profound gratitude.
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[expand title=”Dear Reader” tag=”h6″]
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Thank you for being here all these years—and into the future—as I hold poets to the light.
Oh my heart. This is life lately. It’s hard not to shatter. I reach for words. I ask words to save me.
Blessings to you, dear T. Thank you for these daily gifts.
you do not know what a beautiful,unbelievably important thing you are doing. Thankyou so much for reminding us of the sounds of wings during this darkness. thankyou for curating fragility and strength in this chaos.
“Know that you aren’t alone
the whole world shares your tears,
Some for two nights or one,
And some for all their years”
– from Vikram Seth’s, All you who sleep tonight
Thankyou thankyou thankyou
I curate the poetry page newsletter, ‘Poetly’ on substack, and I draw inspiration from your quiet brilliance.