by Ed Zahniser
Tonight our topic was risk
—mostly how we do not take it
There are hazards: You might slip a disk
or spouse or friend; not quite make it
to the last waltz; choke on phlegm
God forbid that we might risk abandonment,
of all drear dreads the boomer’s basic fear.
It screws our loyalty to pathology.
And faced with intimacy we act downright queer
(You can’t abandon me if you can’t get to me).
We make life’s high point our worst punishment.
Damn the torpedoes! Full risk ahead!
Some of us talked out loud.
Others signaled otherwise that they weren’t dead.
When it comes to taking risks, two’s a crowd.
I sat and thought: This is what I need to hear.
I also thought: Let me out of here!