“Fear,” by Maxwell Smith
March 8, 2018
When I was little, I was scared of fire. When it lit up, my face looked like a ghost,
and my heart sounded like waves crashing on a beach. But now, I when I get scared,
I become the thunderstorm.
When I become the thunderstorm, my heart will look like courage ready to strike
or a bear striking its prey. When I become the thunderstorm, my voice will sound soothing, like a voice talking from far away.
When I am the thunderstorm, I won’t need a hand hold or a place to hide.
When I am the thunderstorm, I will forget about crying my fear away
and being scared of anything related to fire.
When I am the thunderstorm, I will remember standing up to the fears of my soul.
When I am the thunderstorm, the sky will look like lightning striking an open field.
When I am the thunderstorm, I won’t need an adult to shield me anymore,
I will stand and face my fears.
When I am the thunderstorm, I won’t be afraid anymore, my dreams
will be about lightning strikes
to repel the fire and I will only believe in myself putting out the fire that seeks
to burn my life away.
Maxwell Smith wrote this poem while a ninth grader at Health Sciences & Human Services High School with WITS Writer Daemond Arrindell. He performed this poem at SAL’s 2017/18 Literary Arts Series event with Colson Whitehead at Benaroya Hall on February 15, 2018.