The Secret Life of Words

More than half-way through the movie
the woman—survivor of atrocities
during the Balkan wars—breaks
her silence to tell the burn
patient she bathes
her story.

Unable to close our ears or eyes,
so joined are we to their fortunes,
we take in her wounded words, his
tears—staring and clutching each
other—your arm, my knee….

It’s a suffering that keeps throbbing
at midnight as we lie down
wrapped in questions,
and wake at dawn seeking
each other’s soothing

hands across our backs
and breasts, our faces….
What goodness can possibly
equal the cruelty she suffered?
What gentleness can surpass

the raw horrific warp of it? 
Your sudden weeping? 
My whispered comfort words?  
Do I have the right to say
this?   Only kindness

will save us.


      • Unfortunately, driving to NY in March damaged my right ankle again, and I had to have another surgery. Things have not gone well, and I am limited as to how far I can drive (50 miles is my max.) My surgeon was horrified that I had driven so far. It is a good thing that I love living in Maine, because I’m stuck here. Fortunately, my house is ideal for someone with limited mobility. I hope snow will bring beauty to you, and not problems.

        Liked by 1 person

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