Where Suffering Begins

There should be peace for gentle ones, not pain.
Elizabeth Jennings:  On A Friend’s Relapse And Return To A Mental Clinic
She scrapes the last grains of rice from a bowl
and eats them.  There is no other food.
Somewhere nearby cicadas are shrieking
in trees that have survived the bombing.
Doves, their sunset cooing as throaty as ever,
are settling to roost in a burned-out church.
The sky is the same blue it was yesterday
when her children were alive, the blue
they liked to paint it in their pictures.
In that moment, if her mind has its way,
she’ll dream the world unchanged, as it was
just a day ago, her family home, their meal,
her baby sleepy, wanting to be cuddled
and that, she understands, will drive her mad.

Ken Head

If you have any comments on this poem, Ken Head would be pleased to hear from you.