I am a Woman Worried

By Barbara Simmons

PROMPT — Who am I today?

I am a woman worried—maybe because, as it is for most, of COVID—maybe because this viral reality reflects a REAL vulnerability I have—along with my other worries, that I am a grandmother who may not see my granddaughter until 2022—that I worry that she may not remember me, she only four years old and needing presence and not just video chats.


I am a worried mother—about my sons who live so far away—and, again, although I know I’m not about to fade in their memories (sometimes I wish some of the memories would go away) I worry that they are not getting to know me, aging as I am, right now.


I am a worried writer, worried that I’m not disciplined enough to even call myself a writer. I’m today a person who wonders if what I write is never quite on target.


Today I am worried that I won’t have had, even given the many opportunities to speak up, my ‘say’.


And I am the woman who is hopeful, today, that she finds words in the back of her throat and simply clears her throat to cough them up, not even worried where they land.

Barbara Simmons grew up in Boston, now resides in California, and the two coasts inform her poetry. A graduate of Wellesley College, she received an MA in The Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins. As a secondary school English teacher, she revisited texts with students who inspired her thinking about communication's diversity. Retired, she savors smaller parts of life and language, exploring the communion of words, ways to remember and envision. Publications have included Santa Clara Review, Hartskill Review, Boston Accent, NewVerse News, and Soul-Lit among others, as well as Perspectives on KQED.