Pain – for dVerse.

I knew pain
when she was a little girl
in a jangling orange dress
sobbing over a grazed knee.

Back then,
she smelt of hot tarmac
and her hands were sticky
with melted lolly.


I met her later,
wobbly in high, shiny shoes,
buying a hangover
in a high, shiny bar,

and then again
in a sun-bleached square
in a foreign country,
afraid and alone.

I held her hand
when she doubled over,
blue hospital gown
open at the back.
Her breath was sour,
and her hair was wet
with sweat.

But yesterday, when
I reached out for her,
her cracked laugh,
her bitter scent
caught in my throat,

and there was only music,
played on a broken clarinet.

she had forgotten me.

Mish at dVerse asks us to play with our senses. 

I know that you can come up with many more of these and so I leave you to it! Choose something abstract such as a colour, emotion, idea, concept, a quality, trait or situation…and bring it to life using one or more senses. You could also choose something more concrete, as long as you are use senses that are not normally associated with it. For example, “moonlight”. How does it sound? I think you get the idea. Find new ways to dabble with the poetic magic of the senses.

Pain – for Jane Dougherty

I will not write about my pain:
The sharpness of a cut
In the skin, simple hurt.

I will not think of days of rain
And the dull, dragging ache
That bears down in heartbreak.

I will not sing that same refrain,
Burnt child in all but name
I will not fear the flame.

I will not show you them again,
Those healed scars that I bear –
Pretend they are not there.

I will rise up in my disdain
Of that sharp, second dart –
The fear that doubles hurt –

And when I walk the paths of pain
I hope that I will know
Living life made them so.


This is for Jane Dougherty’s weekly poetry challenge. It’s a form with no name that we know of, and the subject is “pain”.