Liz Schroader

My hands tremble whenever 

I have too much caffeine or 

I think too much. 

That is to say, they shake  

often. I’d rather my hands shake than  

my stomach hurt or my breath stop and start 

and start and stop, without pattern. Patterns  

are the calm. The circle I draw over and over on my  

paper as I focus on my breathing, that 4-7-8 pattern. 

In, hold, out. Rinse and repeat until it passes. 

Eventually, it ends, I find the pattern, and life moves on until  

the next big breakdown over nothing, or the next little thing  

I, my mind, make big. I, my body, learns 

to anticipate the next tremble, the next loss of breath. A pattern. 

Contributor's Note

Liz Schroader is a senior studying English. After graduation, she hopes to study Library and Information Sciences.