Do I Look Scared?

Hello, everyone.

I’m so sorry for not writing for so long. I’ve been really busy with exams. I’m still writing exams so we’re not quite through this article scarcity but it won’t be forever, I promise.

I wrote a poem last week. I’ve never written one before. I used to dabble in poetry when I was much younger but I’ve never written a proper one. The poem’s about the future. I’m just about to leave secondary school and I’m understandably nervous but excited about my future so I just wrote down my feelings. By the way, I’m not really depressed like the poem makes me sound.

Do I look scared?
No. I don’t.
I’m an actor, see.
I pretend, I imagine, I make believe.
What you see is a fountain of confidence.
That is a lie. It’s a mirage, an illusion.
The truth is that I’m scared beyond my wits.
What am I scared of?
Everything… and nothing.
I fear what’s coming.
What’s coming?
I don’t know.
That’s what’s so scary.
I fear the future because I know not what it looks like, what it feels like, what it will be.
The future’s a bit troublesome.
Not like the reassuring past.
I know the past like the back of my hand.
The present, I can manage:
It’s not so reassuring but it’s in my palm, it’s mine, I own it.
The future however, is unrecognisable and unfamiliar.
What do you have in store for me? I ask.
He stays mute. He won’t answer me.
That’s what I’m scared of: not knowing.
They say we fear things which we do not know, which are unfamiliar.
Well, I fear the fact that I don’t know what’s coming, that I’m unfamiliar with the inevitable.
This far along the journey, I’ve been helped and guided.
Suddenly, I’m expected to go it alone.
Suddenly, I’m going to be in charge.
Suddenly, it’s going to be my choice, my decision and my responsibility.
I have to choose the path which I’ll take for the rest of my life.
I have to mould myself into the position in which I’ll stay until I’m called home.
Like clay, I’ll have a form which will remain; only, I’m the potter.
That’s why I’m scared.
What’s more, my comrades are all at ease.
They’re not scared at all.
They’re sure of their decisions and confident in their choices.
That’s why I pretend.
That’s why my laugh is forced and my eyes, empty.
That’s why every word I speak oozes self confidence.
Because their words are confident.
Because their laughs are loud and hearty.
But maybe, just maybe, they’re like me.
Lost and confused with no guide.
Faced with decisions they can’t take.
Fearful for tomorrow.
Looking over the horizon to catch a glimpse of what is to come.
Of what creeps closer, day after day, always unclear and hazy.
Maybe they’re covered up.
Maybe they’ve clothed themselves in nonchalance to hide their naked fear.
Maybe everyday, they strain their eyes, looking through the masks that they wear, for a glint of certainty across the horizon of life.

So there you have it. A Keats-worthy poem, even if I say so myself. No, I’m kidding. It’s about as amateur as it could get but I’m quite proud of it. Do you know what? Just typing it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I guess it’s like a form of venting my feelings.

In the last line, I wanted to write …for a glint of certainty across the otherwise bleak horizon of life. but I thought it sounded a bit too suicidal… you know, bleak life and all that.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading it.

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