Living With Pain
Tell me of pain, what you know of it.
Is it to be feared, or guarded against
like a tangible foe?
Do you seek it, or merely accept it
like an unavoidable opponent?
Is it to be welcomed, with open arms
as an enabling experience?
You tell me yours, I’ll tell you mine.
Pain… She was my first lover
My most intimate friend,
but a demanding mistress, she is...
The more you fight her,
she more she hurts you
with no safe word in place…
As I struggled against her
she demanded more of me
until there was almost nothing left.
She encompasses me,
cloaks me in her cold embrace.
A cruel master, never meant to rule
has no limits to what she will do.
She is meant to lend you strength,
help you overcome…
If only you can harness her, hold her in check.
Many years ago she escaped her reigns;
now it is I in her shackles
I know of no escape though I must.
I am riddled with the arrows;
arrows that others aimed
that she pierces me with,
each taking a slice of my soul.
Soon there will be nothing remaining;
only a vacant shell in which I once dwelled…
Angela Davis's Other Poems
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