Mark Tredinnick Poem #1

When the Panic

 

When the silence grows shrill in you and won’t be said;

When the sadness grows deep in you, like winter, but will

 

Not well; when the panic rises, like the past, and won’t

Be shaken; when five years of untaken sleep become

 

A nightmare of doubt, a life in drought; when the fear

Wakes before you with the scissors in its hands; when

 

Hope becomes a harder case than you know how to make;

When the floor drops out from everything you thought

 

You were and meant and knew; when the world shrinks

Back to shibboleth and nothing peaceful anywhere knows

 

The letters of your name—I want you to remember this:

The panic passes, the fear will end; the pieces into which

 

Your days have frayed and fallen will become a life

Again, and it will be your own. You’ll never get over

 

Any of this, but you will, without a doubt, get through.

You will stand glad under a winter moon and smell

 

The weather change and know that when you wake

It will be spring,

and the years will have turned their faces back

Toward all the light that’s fallen your way from the start.