I used to be fearless down to my core
I would move toward what scared me
so I wouldn’t be scared anymore.
I used to be fearless training on the mat
attacking my sensei, quick as a cat.
Thrown away into a joist-shuddering fall,
I’d bounce back to my feet like a super ball.
I used to be fearless driving out west
cross basin and range, I’d feel at my best.
My knees steered the wheel while rolling a smoke;
I’d sing my guts out after taking a toke.
I used to be fearless riding my horse
through chamisa, blue sage, and thick spiny gorse.
But from up on her back, it’s a long way down
and my super ball bounce might get stuck on the ground.
To stay fearless through life was once my goal:
to scoff and laugh through every fall and roll.
Now my bones feel more brittle and my step is less sure
and there’s still so much more I will want to endure.
Perhaps fear can guide me, give me a clue,
help alert me to danger, tell me what to do.
If I think of my fear as an old trusted friend,
at least I’ll have company when I go ’round the bend.