NaPoWriMo Prompt 19

Day Nineteen On April 19, 2022

“Today’s challenge is to write a poem that starts with a command. It could be as uncomplicated as “Look,” as plaintive as “Come back,” or as silly as “Don’t you even think about putting that hot sauce in your hair.” Whatever command you choose, I hope you have fun ordering your readers around.”

So, I have several chronic conditions, and some overlap, so when I am symptomatic, I’m not always sure which one is responsible. Or if it is all of them! Or none, and just plain anxiety…

Don’t Tell Me

Don’t tell me to just get over it!

Nor to stop worrying—

it’s what I do.


There’s a little voice that says

if you think the worst, then anything less

is good news. 


It says, if you prepare for the bad things

the lesser things don’t hit so hard. But,

between you and me…


the catastrophizing means suffering twice.

Once, in the imagination, then later,

when reality comes flying in the door.


Today, I wonder how many symptoms

are real, and how many just anticipation

that something might be wrong.


How many are health-related, and how many

a figment of anxiety and those always-present


Carol A. Stephen

April 27, 2022

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