We Are All In This Together: 1 “Why Should I Say ‘Cure This Pain’?”

Why Should I Say “Cure This Pain?”

After reading Rumi and the Book of Joel 2: 12-14


The donkeys bray each morning to call me to them.

They know morning is another new day, the next opportunity to eat hay, possibly alfalfa.

Only grass hay, though, until the guy who hauls alfalfa to the Country Store recovers

from his bout of pneumonia. He won’t die, though,

just inconvenience all of us who rely on his pick up and delivery,

and my donkeys don’t like grass hay as much as alfalfa,

so they take to eating the bark off the cedar fence posts,

gnawing down the chamisa in their corral,

and generally getting into all kinds of mischief.


I will shatter my heart into shards,

rend my soul in pieces, bloody my fingers in gathering each piece,

each colorful reflected aspect of my life and grief.

I won’t sand the edges down, won’t sand the morning down

to an alarm clock and the empty kitchen,

the blankets still thrown on the couch

where I waited for my restless dog to come

in from the cold middle of the night.

We are born whole, a glistening,

slickness of new life, untouched,

until that first breath, that first touch,

which begins the shattering.


I gather together, every morning, myself again,

after falling into pieces during every 24 hours,

another disintegration , another hourly, minute by minute loss.

Our 8-year old Rhodesian Ridgeback, Walter,

is going white around his ears and muzzle.

His eyes rise to meet mine in constant questioning.  Where is he?

That guy who slept most near his bed, and walked him out

to the year-long spring at least twice a week, come any weather.


The glory of words fail me.  My nails are ridged;

my hair is thinning, there are cracks on the edges of my thumb and forefinger

from outside work that I do now that Tom did then,

when we were whole, on the planet together.

The cracks remind me every time I pull a load

of hay from the back of the Volvo, collect eggs,

haul and split wood, every time I open the door,

whatever sunrise, I inhale for him the morning shards of light, so sharp.


Michelle Holland

February 2018


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