Pain has long washed over me
like the waves of a symphony orchestra.
It’s manifestation from pizzicato strings,
up the ranks to shrill reeds and blaring brass.
The concert master within plucks a string,
a twinge, a spark in my body,
or draws his bow long, back and forth,
so seamlessly extending the exquisite tone
across my neck, my shoulder, all the parts
grown to accept the groaning background music
of a life full with this symphony
of self-written suffering. Today,
muffled timpani, always there, almost-hidden
by itself in the left side of the back row,
thuds its dull soreness, the ensemble resting
for a few bars. It’s a manly ache, this,
a limping, crippling thump played
with a pair of lives I’ve left ungrieved,
the heartbeat of my days, my nights,
this concerto of my times.

– Joseph Hesch

© 2015, poem, Joseph Hesch, All rights reserved

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