At We Write Poems, we were asked to write about healing. Before the healing, there is the injury.


Some wounds are so deep
so personal, so wrenching,
they cannot heal without help,
without sharing.

Memories spread past membranes
and synapses in the brain,
tentacles reaching, spreading painfully,
tightening the jaw,
constricting breath,
ever growing in power,
wasting the strongest soul.

A boy down the block
came home on leave and
looking in his eyes, I recognized
his agony, his disguise.
He sat with his mom in church quietly,
trying not to scream.

Later, we went for coffee and
unmasked our monsters.
Mine took hold in childhood;
his are war-born, wailing in the night.
New, but no less maiming.

Then came the shared silence
of those who know that tears
are about to flow, and we
both let go, heaving sobs,
wracking but quiet, this cry.
Tears… our only balm.

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil