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I have lost an elasticity
from the skin in my fingertips.
Sometimes they bleed
or ache, openly.

It feels like something
that happens
to make me realize
there is this other kind of suffering.
But should I endure it silently

until I die, it will remain
the reminder that pain is real
and sometimes has
invisible reasons.

Comments, criticisms, and questions welcome.

{Photo by Man Ray, Hand on Lips}


I am a children's librarian. I have 2 kids. I have a professor for a husband. I obsess about writing and about making things.

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  1. Deborah says:

    I just finished and posted a review of “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.” And then read this. A nice coupling. Both strike me as meditations on trying to understand the necessity of pain.

    I like the juxtaposition of “openly” and “invisible.”

    One thought: In the second stanza, each line begins with an indefinite word (It/that/to/there/but) — I was longing for a concrete something to keep my eye moving there. Especially after the vivid imagery in the first stanza — which I love.

  2. Brooke says:


    I must pick up The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and soon!

    And I totally agree that the second stanza needs something else. A concrete image would be great. I’ll be thinking about what to add…

  3. Caroline says:

    I love this one, Brooke. I agree that that first stanza is fantastic, and that a concrete image in the second would be a great addition.

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