T-Minus Four

There’s noise, white noise,
Swirling in my brain
Of things that must be packed and planned
Lists checked in black pen
Then check again

The voice says flee
That rattles in my head
The one that whispers cautions in my ear
Then tosses me from my bed
In heart pounding dread

A palm sweat rises
From deep within my chest
It courses to the surfaces tinged with fear
Raging torrents of the quest
To do my best

The challenge once chose
With flip casual commit
Now stares me at the brink of win or lose
A ready self without excuse
I lace my shoes