Worry Eater

I have put a Worry Eater on your bookshelf,
right beside your favorite books.

It may look like a simple wooden box,
but don’t be fooled: it is a Worry Eater

and the disguise is just so random visitors will
not know what it is and try to take it from you.

Worry Eaters are very rare and coveted things.

I should think the name should be self-explanatory,
but you must feed it daily in order
to keep your Worry Eater happy and full.

Feeding it is simple:
open the lid and whisper your worries in,
or write them on little scraps of paper

(lined college-ruled will do,
but the margins of old poems
make a special treat if you want
to do something nice for your Worry Eater.)

Some people may tell you,
“Don’t worry, everything will be alright,” but these people
do not have a hungry Worry Eater waiting at home,

so you can just smile coyly at them and say, “Yes,
you’re right,” and then go home and whisper
your secret worries to your secret Worry Eater.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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