To me, this is a horror poem

Marvin Bell
It could be a clip, it could be a comb;
it could be your mother, coming home.
It could be a rooster; perhaps it’s a comb;
it could be your father, coming home.
(Poetry Diary 266 – 6/20/17)  I did a search under “obsessive” at the Poetry Foundation website today because I’m amused at how obsessed many people–including myself and my husband, as I got him one for Father’s Day–are with their Fitbits.  Fitbits are both wonderful and terrible for obsessive people, as it’s hard to go to sleep if one hasn’t met all of one’s goals (which means that I can occasionally be found jumping on a trampoline or walking around the neighborhood at 11:24 at night….) 🙂
After many years of hard work I’ve gotten my obsessive tendencies under control. (Aside from my Fitbit obsession, that is. Oy. ) But Bell’s poem brought me back to my childhood and adolescence, when I had bad bouts of OCD during which I thought that if I didn’t touch the bathroom doorknob a certain number of times or if I didn’t visit a particular toy mask that was kept in a drawer or if I looked directly at the cement sculpture of a swan in the neighbor’s lawn then someone I loved would get hurt or die.
Unfortunately, we lived next to an old man, so when I tested this theory one day by staring directly at the evil swan statue the old man, by coincidence, (I assume?!)  had a heart attack.
He lived, but oh boy did this mess me up! Freaked me out for years afterwards, until I started therapy in my late adolescence.
Hopefully Bell’s poem won’t have exactly the same effect on other people, but it and the memories it’s bringing up give me the shivers….I wonder whether “Obsessive” as creepy to someone who didn’t have childhood experiences of OCD, or whether it brings similar, universal fears in other readers. I love this poem! But brrrrrrrr……

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