portion of the artwork for Mather Schneider's poem

The Panic Button
Mather Schneider

On the left side of this taxi’s dashboard
just below the steering wheel
is a little red button
the panic button.

You’re supposed to push it
if you’re in trouble
but don’t push it unless it’s
This button is only when you feel your life
is threatened.
Of course, it’s hard to know these things
until it’s too late
so really the little red button
is pretty much worthless
and just for show, something
to make you feel better.

Many cab drivers have been robbed or injured
or killed
and somehow the little red button
never played its part.

Sometimes when I am in my cab
in a traffic jam somewhere
I feel a panic
rising in me
like an anxiety attack
and I feel my hand reaching toward
that little red button.
I want to scream out:
Help me, somebody, Jesus God! This is
all such nonsense. My life is being
bled from me and I am letting
it happen.
I have no idea what to do
how to fix it
how to feel whole, how to feel
meaningful, why is everything so
fucking dark and scary and

But, I never
do it.

Instead I put my hand on
the steering wheel
and keep moving forward
to wherever the hell it is I am

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 47 | Spring 2016