By Melissa Baron

Cogs and wheels creak and turn
In a young overworked mind.

Spindles rusted, unused, protesting,
Overwhelmed by emotion
That sends these dormant contraptions
Into the harried state of her mind.

She is not used to this.
Anxiety seizes her heart
Chilled air rushes
Goose bumps down her arms,
A short walk away from the source
Of her terror.

Muscles move like
Marionette strings
Torn between moving
Toward what she wants in her heart –
The strongest marionette string in her body –
And running away.

Oh, that would be safer, wouldn’t it?
Blood pumps faster
Rushing to her cheeks
Mind flashing to luminous blue,
A captivating smile.

Her breath stutters;
Closer now.
Curtain’s almost up and her mind is
Filled with panic
Giddy terror stuck in the spokes
Rendering those wheels useless.

The source comes in sight
And it is too late to run.
He turns the smile on her
As she works up the courage
That will allow her to speak.