thoughts from a cherry wood shelf

By Maddie Jaffe

to be an overthinker,

you must first understand what it means.

is there such a thing as an underthinker?

whose skull is a dusty, hollow, echoing shell?

or a just-right thinker,

with thoughts piled neatly on cherry wood shelves?

maybe not

or maybe so

but the point is

what makes the overthinker? what encourages one to flirt with insanity?

is it the never-ending nights watching your ceiling as


hours pass, your beauty sleep a runaway paper on a windy day, always, always

blown just out of reach

or is it the fact that decisions as simple as what flavor of ice cream you want

are traumatic


and leave you aching, wondering, still, an hour later, if strawberry was the right choice?

maybe it’s the eraser marks

tainting your page with an irreplaceable, indestructible gray from half-finished,

scrapped ideas and answers

that are now long gone.

so what, out of these, truly makes an overthinker?

what does it mean, and how do you become one

or make it go away?

well, friends.

I suppose we’ve overthought it.