Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Living with Pain

They call it a back
Because it's behind you
You can't see it
So when the pain starts
Your first response is to question
Who, what, where, when, why

And all you know for sure is,
It’s a feedback loop
To glance aside, focus on something else
To move ahead, haltingly even
To smile, laugh and have hope
The sublime holy task

Living with pain
The knowledge it’s there, but
The reason it’s there, not
The certainty it will be someday gone
Surely that should comfort
Go ahead, turn aside

Taking something can only prolong
The healing, yet
It’s nice to have new feedback
The shame of not being whole
Wanting to hide in your room
Needing to stoop when you walk

Does it stop?
You ask yourself rhetorical questions
Will you look back and remember this time
As truly special
As something you can only glimpse now
Whose meaning is fraught with portents?

There’s a bit of detachment
Looking down on the distant circus
From one’s vantage all consumed with
When to take another pill
Your mind never stops questioning
Even while you chuckle at the cosmic joke

Maybe all this happens for that very reason
You have to stop your super powers
All that brilliant flight
Find the smile inside the danger
Find the joy inside the suffering
Know you're hanging out in space
With a beating heart

Painting by Miles Ballew, used with permission

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