I expect the worst



even as a kid I expected birthday

presents I didn’t want, like another


loser Chutes and Ladders game

I expected a D on my spelling test


even though I was the best speller in the class

and today for sure my car will need new brakes


new struts, new tires, not just a tune up

for sure the grocery store will be


out of Meyer lemons and heavy cream

and my dessert will be a disaster


and the doctor will find

warts or high blood pressure or lung cancer


for sure the maple tree will fall on the house

in tonight’s high winds


and I will have to move to a hotel

I can’t possibly afford


and end up panhandling by Route 580

holding a cardboard sign in the pouring rain


as cars roar past

and drivers pretend not to see


but most of all I am worried my heart

is too stressed from all this worrying


and will pack up veins and arteries

and move to Wyoming


Claire Scott

Claire Scott is an award-winning poet who has received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work has appeared in the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, New Ohio Review and Healing Muse, among others. Claire is the author of Waiting to be Called and Until I Couldn’t. She is the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.

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