I was told that

When I was 7

I underwent

a spinal tap.


I have no recollection

of this procedure

No memories of a needle

entering my spine extracting

fluids for testing

and probably for good reason.

Before that,

I was hit in the head with a hammer

by my cousin.

On accident.

I experienced my first concussion.

Knocked out

with no recollection of the few hours

in between waking

and impact.

We have interesting ways

of dealing with pain.


and remembering

at moments of mysterious discretion.

Pain is sometimes the fuel

from which our vengeance

burns to pass through fire.

Other times

the fragrance in which

our touch meets skin

to make right the mistakes

we have forgotten to make.

And still

in our deepest moments of pain

we are immediately bonded

by the immensity

of bodies that suffer

in the light of infliction

with emotions

that break

under the weight

of being.

and we are forced to feel

the fire touch our skin

When the two meet

and we are given to bear

the burdens of painful

memories that exist in time lines

made of sand

Taking them with us into the future

where our possibilities remain

limitless, yet tethered

to the strings

of forgetting

and remembering

in the choices

we have had to make

and the consequences

we have had to reconcile.

I’m told that when

I was 83 years old

I finally remembered the moments

I blocked from my memories.

And they came rushing to me

in a blizzard of nostalgia

unfulfilled by regrets

I finally learned to let go,

and pain i came  to understand

as necessary part of the journey.

Perhaps I’ve learned

from pain

how to travel carefully

and tread lightly.


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