Pain That Does Not Go Away

Photograph: Sharron R. McMillan

Photograph: Sharron R. McMillan

Pain strips one of all inhibitions.
Listen to the woman on the ferry
tell the intimate details of her marriage,
loud enough for the whole lounge to hear.

Her pain removes fear of being overheard,
vulnerable to strangers,
misunderstood or judged.
Her pain needs release
and talking about it
seems her only comfort.

Pain turns our attention inward.
Niceties of life no longer drive us.
We focus only on the pain,
try with all our might to ease,
eradicate,
forget it
but it demands our full attention
and does not go away.

© 1995 Sharron R. McMillan

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