Just A Drop for the Pain

Maybe it’s the rumble of empty stomachs
that makes it hard to understand what was said.
Maybe it’s the ache of backs that have worked too hard
with too little to show for it
making it difficult to comprehend.

It’s a toxic brew –
shame, from knowing it isn’t enough,
fear, of loosing what little there is,
distrust, of the dimly understood other.

It can cause a nasty ache,
and make a person beg
the nearest traveling salesman
for the tonic to make it all go away.

No one minds a drop of snake oil
when the numbness finally starts.
The ache that was a warning
that something more deep and dreadful
is eating you from the inside is stilled.

The price for miracle? Your eyes.
You might start to hurt again
if you saw the ache in others.

Let the nice man with the oil have them.
He might eat them.
He might stuff them up his nose.
He might wear them in his hair.

Who cares?
You aren’t in pain.
Isn’t that all that matters?

Yesterday's News by Shelle Kennedy
Visit her blog, Sunshine Shelle, for more terrific art work!



This poem was prompted by Magaly Guerrero's Poetry for the Cruelest Month: Idiots Herding the Blind

28 comments:

  1. No one minds a drop of snake oil
    when the numbness finally starts.

    Powerful images here..!
    Beautifully penned.

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh love this! Espevially the bit about the eyes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I liked the combination of absurdity and horror of it.

      Delete
  3. Wow, Rommy! The poem is very accomplished. Love the way you give pain a face and a body with feelings going through struggles. Makes for a strong connection and an understanding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Khaya! It was definitely a challenge to get the complexity of feelings in there, but I'm glad it works.

      Delete
  4. "oil
    when the numbness finally starts.
    The ache that was a warning
    that something more deep and dreadful
    is eating you from the inside is stilled."

    This gets to me, Rommy. I don't know what the feeling is that it's conjured, but it's set something to swirling 'round inside.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, I kind of like that it evokes something uncertain. That feels like a win :)

      Delete
  5. Pain--of the mind or the body--makes people do terrible thing, especially when said mind hasn't received proper training on how to endure, on how to find hope were none seems to be aplenty...

    You have given words to Shelle's word. Those eyes speak terrible truth, fear that eats at the flesh, desperation... and now we know why.

    Wow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While I don't believe all of the world's cruelties are born in pain, I think a whole hell of a lot of them are. And when one is in pain it's easy to buy whatever the first idiot who comes along is selling.

      Delete
  6. Pain, of many kinds, can make you blind and willing to do or say anything to make it go away. We all have our own brand of snake oil. Perceptive and very thought provoking, Rommy! Most excellent!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is amazing to think what some people will trade to make that pain go. Amazing and dispiriting.

      Delete
  7. very profound poem; pain; a definite no no for us all i'm sure; pain the surest road to loosing it

    much love...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh my, this is confronting stuff, so powerfully written.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's hard to take it all in some days.

      Delete
  9. Oh Rommy, thank you for letting her speak, yes she needed to numb the pain... you added a dimension, her soul, gave us a miserable life to touch & help us feel... all because your words created one... I love this xox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm so pleased you like it.

      Delete
  10. Oooh... This gave me an ache in my insides that won't go away too soon. We hear this said in anger so much now, but to hear it with such sadness...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Esther. I remember setting out to write something a bit more angry but once I got going, all that came out was sorrow.

      Delete
  11. Very powerful words, with Shelle's art! You gave words to Shelle's art! I love the words you used!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I'm glad everything gelled together the way I had hoped.

      Delete
  12. "Fear of losing what little there is..." can cover so many facets in a life. Wonderful words yet again. Tis afterall the little things that make that life :D XXX

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fear can make some people do crazy things.

      Delete
  13. Very cool! I love the drop of snake oil. And another great face of Shelle's to go along with it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw it and thought it was just a perfect match.

      Delete
  14. Sadly, the snake oil wears off, but the damage doesn't. You are generous to see that the pain is the issue, however. I wish we would try a better remedy.

    ReplyDelete