Salvatore Buttaci is a retired English teacher and writing
instructor who was awarded the Cyber-wit Poetry Award. His poems,
stories, articles, and letters have appeared widely in publications
that include New York
Times, U. S. A. Today, The Writer, Writer’s Digest, Christian
Science Monitor, www.poetrymagazine.com, The National
Enquirer, and Cats
THE PHOBIA SOCIETY
I want to write a letter
to the Phobia Society of America
but I'm afraid.
That same old cold sweat,
the agony of pushing myself
beyond the usual "Dear Phobic Society"
frightens me and though
I want so much to write that letter,
And I would have so much
to tell those Phobia pholks:
who sit in judgment
casting stones at
their members who are
I would write but then visions
of my letter buried in a postman's
dark brown, musty leather sack
leaves me claustrophobic,
not to mention that the sack
is on the shoulder of a stranger
who whizzes up up up up up
elevators to the 500th floor
to where The Phobia Society of America
has its office
very high above the crowded New York City.
So I'm afraid.
Somebody inside me says,
"What the hell is with you, Man?
Reach out and touch someone!
Get that fear out of here!"
And just as I take heart to act,
somebody else inside me says,
"Easy for you to say.
Talk is cheap.
Try acting out, Tough Guy."
I'm in conflict. I'm afraid.
A letter to the Phobia Pholks
means they will learn my name,
know where I live,
and they will reply!
"You must confront all the dilemmas
in your miserably cowering life,"
they will write.
"Your nights are supposed to be dark.
Elevators are supposed to go up up up.
Crowds happen naturally when more
than a few people stand together.
They can't hurt you.
Hey, Wimp, get a grip!"
they will want me to write about my life,
bombard me with platitudes like
"You have nothing to fear but fear itself,"
and all the time they're thinking:
"What makes you spineless wonders tick?"
Sometimes in the night I dream
an unreasonable facsimile of myself
sits tall at a banker's desk.
Pen in steady hand, I write that letter,
offhandedly joke about how nobody but nobody
who climbs to the top of this big bank
could ever even remotely know Fear,
except the kind he elicits
in the pathetic little tellers
who fear one more year's no raise.
© Copyright, 2014, Salvatore