are only sounds
until they come alive
a word I have always known
has become imprinted on my psyche
I have had three c-sections
that pain was in the recovery
and in trying to zip up my jeans
over the red hot swollen scar that was my abdomen
I lost my only son to SIDS
that pain is in my soul
I will live with that until I die
those dark blue eyes
that happy belly-laugh
I have been verbally and physically battered
by an egomaniacal expert
who took my young years away
and broke my spirit
i have had some broken bones
i have felt the cold fire of arthritis in my fingers
i have known the pain of bone-on-bone
in my spine
(now, that’s a ten – a bonafide, blow-your-brains out ten)
has every breath drawn fear into my heart.
the pain of these “bruised” ribs
how do we manage to survive our lives?
I am amazed
at the resiliency of my body.
I want to stop breathing to make the pain go away,
but this body breathes in and out
in spite of me.
the pain shoots from my ribs
into my heart
and then to my brain
with amazing clarity
outside, in the dark,
in the dog run,
thinking I could control the “puppy”
(who seems to be larger than I am)
in my silly school dress-up clothes
and low heeled shoes
with my reading glasses still on my face
and five minutes to go,
before I had to leave
I guess he gave me what-for
he dumped me, hard, on the sidewalk
(six inches from the stone wall)
I was lucky
I got into the car shaking leaves from my hair.
Crying from the exquisite torture of the pain
hoping to get to school before I would lose my mind
it was my last class, before the test
in my last unit, before I became an intern.
I had worked six months for this night
From now on,
I will have more respect for the power of puppies.
And, I will remember to take off my reading glasses
when I go outside in the dark
are only sounds
and letters . . .