A story of fear and trembling …
Do you have fears?
How do you overcome them?
Are you counterphobic?
(i.e., doing what scares you to prove you’re okay)
Amelia E. Peterson was not a white-knuckle
She was a white-knuckle person,
She wore gloves.
White gloves to cover her fears.
Never revealing her terror
She flew her plane to dangerous altitudes
And was known to all as
Adventurer and Aviator.
Peterson’s flip-flops in the air were known worldwide.
No bomber pilot would dare to try them.
Amelia bungee jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge.
Scuba dived deep into the oceans
Amelia E. rode a bronco bareback
At Indianapolis speed around
Ticketed with bravado.
Tempting her fate in smaller ways
Her response to a mad cow alert …
Eat only beef.
During a tomato salmonella scare
Amelia would gorge only on
Affronting the outbreak with her red
She ate raw fish in
At Greasy Spoons.
Yes Amelia went far out in life’s waters
Detesting Calm seas or —
This was how she appeared
Yet with her white gloves off
Unseen to the world
Her heart raced at
Tales of Tsunamis, Terrorists
And Nuclear Fallout.
Death scared her
Nightly and bedcovers
Would tremble but no one would see.
Single, Amelia E. Peterson
Dated only married men.
She never asked for commitment
Loving a bullfight,
But banned from the ring
Amelia dressed as a toreador on Cinco de Mayo
So she lived thus until …
On a certain day
In a certain year
The sky fell, as
Chicken Little had predicted.
The volcano and earthquake
Came upon the earth
The tides rose; the rains came
The levees broke
The world would
Amelia E. Peterson who survived as
Naked yet with white gloves she stood
Out of the bubbling molten when
Suddenly emerging a man.
Audaciously, Amelia asked,
(Pointing her gloved finger at him)
“Who art thou?”
“Atom-Adam,” he replied.
“Spell that,” she ordered
And he did,
And he stretched out his hands saying
“The world has fallen into the Sea”
“Because it did,”
She said, “because I knew all along.”
She said, ” because I am not afraid.”
And he asked who she was? Did she have a name?
Brazenly she replied,
“Amelia E. Peterson.”
“Take off your white gloves, Amelia E.” he said.
“No,” she said emphatically.
“Take off your gloves,” he said again, “I want to feel you.”
She did, slowly trusting him
Finger by finger
Placing her trembling hands in
His lava hands
She was petrified.
“Amelia E. Peterson,” he said.
Warming her with his fire,
“You are beautiful and brave,
We are all that is left.”
“What does the E. stand for,” he asked of Amelia E. Peterson.
“It is for Eve,
But I never use it.”
And they held hands peacefully
And watched this world end