It’s a strange thing to manage: of you and not, it, itself, an otherness,
living and breathing, in and yet beyond you, insidiously skulking around.
Nerve slasher, I call it, breath thief, dignity embezzler, hope arsonist.
From its last kiss before sleeping to its first caress when waking
it’s the demon that haunts you in-between: silent, unseen, crippling.
How did such a one become a friend?


This poem was first drafted by my sister, Cindy, who was then—and had, at that point, been for some years—facing severe medical issues, most of which are now (thank God!) resolved.

Thank you for reading Pain. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.

The photograph was taken at Harkness Memorial Park, on the Connecticut side of the Long Island Sound. To see my photography, please visit the Book of Bokeh blog.


Poem © Lucinda Lenora Hayden. Photograph and notes © John Etheridge; all rights reserved.


Filed under Poetry

8 responses to “Pain

  1. Powerful! Prayers and healing hopes for Cindy~

  2. Barbara Minor

    I read the lines during my episode of sciatica’s nerve pinching cruelty. Pain thieves my even tempo of breath, electrocuting my torso until I hold my breath. Ironic that your poem is written for Cindy while I “feel” her pain. I am praying for her and wishing her peace with the pain. Sometimes making peace with it works for me, until, I am exhausted. Then God helps after that.


    Scary, sad, poignant. Poetry must be in the DNA.

    • In the DNA? It must be true. Cindy has always been the expressive soul-filled one of us! 🙂 It’s killing me to see her in such pain. Hopefully there will be some resolution soon.

  4. A jolt … Not the right word, but I had to grab for something to reflect what this poem does in my soul. I don’t want to use the word “beautiful”, since your sister is writing about her pain … “Profound” might be a better word. “Is it possible to make such a companion a friend?” This is a very powerful piece, to me. My heart goes out to this good woman who has not disconnected from her heart and soul, it appears, evidenced through this intense, paradoxically beautiful piece,