the healing muse

Volume 9, 2009


Beverly Boyd

A wave leaves you gasping, paralyzed
till breath returns. Pinpricks radiate

from elbow to wrist to thumb. Fire flashes
through inner regions as currents flow. A nurse

inquires, “On a scale of one to ten,
how bad is it?” Your doctor applies labels,

“chronic” or “acute.” All distress
noted, rated, described. But how to reckon

pain? As a steady companion, cranky
child, unrelenting foe, insatiable

lover, exacting rival? One who reminds you
you’re alive, elicits gratitude

for peace and ease, strengthens the spine, yet augurs
more torment if omen:

infused always

with that briny taste of fear.

Return to Table of Contents, Volume 9, 2009.

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