after Dorianne Laux
Don’t worry. And when someone says Don’t worry,
don’t wonder if you’re worrying enough and about
the right things. Don’t worry that your headache
is really brain cancer and you’ll look terrible
without your hair. When your flight is canceled
or delayed, don’t assume that you aren’t meant
to travel, that where you are is where you’ll have
to stay. Don’t double- and triple-check your purse,
fingers feeling for your wallet as nimbly
as a pickpocket’s. Don’t worry about pickpockets,
their dying art.
When the dog shits
in the dining room, don’t worry he’ll do it again
tomorrow and every day thereafter because
you haven’t loved or walked him enough.
Don’t worry about being late when you know
you’re early or wear your watch on long walks
meant to clear your head. When someone asks,
What’s the worst thing that could happen?
don’t answer tsunami, your U-Haul stolen
and set on fire, your husband filing for divorce
for reasons you can’t imagine but would probably
Don’t worry that you’ve left
your doors unlocked, the oven or coffeepot on.
Don’t worry that running out of concrete fears—
a flat tire, bad test results, suspicious charge
to your account—will leave you open to the vague
and nameless dread you’d do anything to avoid.
Don’t try to explain, even to those you love,
the dilemmas you’ve faced by 9 a.m., the deathbeds
you’ve visited, disasters you’ve seen or averted.
Don’t worry that worry might be all you have.