Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Wounded Beast



author's note:

“Tonight’s forecast...dark.”
           -- George Carlin


THE WOUNDED BEAST

Caught
in the cloud of my storm--cracked
    by my own lightning
I fumbled blindly--
desperately trying
to find my way free

until my hand landed
on the trembling hide
of that fearful growling animal.

In the past, I'd fled
and been attacked
so now I tried to ease
the headless beast
with fingertips and words

but hurt is never so simple:
when the rumble within
had finally settled to a murmur
I detected beneath the layers
an incessant funeral sob of loss

then listening more intently
I felt the groans of a battlefield aftermath:
a slow steady pain
from wounds beyond number

but the many were really just one.

I knew then my work
as doctor and nurse
would never be complete.

Faced with such a task
how can I fault myself
for sometimes abandoning
the grind of healing?--

and if I absolve myself
how can I blame anyone else
for failing to engage
with the wounded beast?--

and yet, I do
occasionally rage
at our willful blindness--

yes, I rumble and crack

until blinded once more
by the cloud of my storm

then I must listen again
with feeling
to regain my sight.

I've much more to learn
but I do know for certain:
feeling is essential to healing...

feeling is listening is seeing.



© 2016, Michael R. Patton
My War for Peace: a book

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