My Worries Have Worries

so I built little matchstick houses
with large ceilings, a garden for them to grow

tomatoes, cilantro, & carrots
their worry babies will eat

but they chew on the henbit of me anyway
both my past & future entwined into disasters

I tell them I worry about their health
that they’re not eating properly

I mother them
the way I do anyone I love

they ask if I love myself
I tug the sleeves of my sweater

begin thatching a leaking roof
water their garden
at night

I can hear them
dancing around a bonfire

all I’ve built burned
down, a soot snowfall

tomorrow they’ll wait for me
& I’ll reconstruct their home
anyone would do the same

From Girl’s Guide to Leaving by Laura Villareal © 2022 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. Reprinted by permission of the University of Wisconsin Press.