“Describe your pain,” he tells me

And I cannot

How do I quantify, and is there time?

It takes patience to process

Change feeling to word.

“Describe your pain,” he says,

And I think…

It is slow and burning

Not the panic of hand on hot pan

It is the forest floor after fire

The smoldering of embers

Deep and aching

Like the damage has already been done.

Do you see the clouds rising from me?

Can you smell the smoke?

Do I burn your lungs?

Bring tears to your eyes?

Do you miss the trees?

Is that why you look away?

Or are you afraid of your own fire?

Your own pain?


Maybe I am a mudslide,

Spilling my affliction onto those who cross my path.

Maybe I am bitter.

Maybe I am dead.

Maybe I rest for a while

And when you come with the gentle whispers of spring to survey my scars

I will reward you with earthy nourishment,

like sought after morels

Maybe I am growing

Maybe my malady is the soil of one billion wild flower blooms

There will be such color and life that the moon will smile brighter for the view.

Maybe you will look at me and see light and marvel at my beauty and how I rise and flower

Bringing every manner of bird and bee and being with me

Maybe I can use this life

“Describe your pain,” he tells me

“It is ashes,” I say, “and I will bloom.”

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