The Secret Life of Pain – A Rhyming Poem

Pain is a gifted sculptor.
She has shaped me well.
And pain always helps to create
something different from herself.

I am a chosen medium,
responsive to her hands.
I have learned with practice to
surrender my demands.

When I have hit the ground
in desperate agony,
When I thought all good, hope, and joy
had left my company,

I came upon a secret hiding
in the hardened dirt:
when I ceased the clawing fight,
I was held by the earth.

When I screamed at the sky
until my throat was raw,
When I have cursed the gods because
life made me feel so small,

I came upon a secret hiding
in the swelling clouds:
beads of rain, yet smaller, came
to clean the poison out.

When I was in real trouble
in jungles far from home,
When creatures hunted night and day
and I wasn’t safe alone,

I came upon a secret hiding
in a circle of trees:
I was safe inside the song of birds
and wind in the leaves.

When I swam much too far
in oceans with strong tides,
When I was close to drowning in
the currents I couldn’t fight,

I came upon a secret hiding
in the waters below:
The dolphins came to play and guide
me back into the flow.

Pain is a gifted teacher.
She has cultivated much.
She showed me pain is worse, indeed,
when we grasp and when we clutch.

I’m not her greatest student.
She has many seeds to grow.
But the greatest lesson and fruit I bear
is learning to let go.

Copyright © 2018, Sheyorah Aossi.

womanblowingbirds

Artwork by Nanda Correa

Poet’s Notes:
This was written in response to a journal prompt by Pixie Lighthorse from her book, “Prayers of Honoring Grief.” The question was How can I honor what I’ve been through?

Also, I cannot recommend this book highly enough to anyone who has lost a loved one or suffered trauma and is still processing terrible loss, or even if you think you may possibly have some unfinished internal business.

I have not been able to use anything else that comes in a binding or a package, even when recommended by professionals. This one is deep enough, universal enough, beautiful enough, inspiring enough, confronting enough, and gentle enough to work for me.

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