PAIN IS NOT MR. DARCY
If pain announced its arrival,
we would prepare. We’d train.
Get our hearts in shape.
We’d wear our thickest clothes, layer
upon layer, pull on our heaviest boots—
we’d be ready.
But pain is not the dashing Mr. Darcy
in his ruffled white shirt, patiently standing
at the door with flowers and wine, knocking
with perfect knuckles. Pain is a teenager
who ding dong ditches—the one mama warned
you about—who waits in a parked car
down the street then lobs two dozen eggs
at your plate-glass windows and teepees
the oak trees while you sleep.
Pain is the storm that makes landfall
once hurricane season has passed, long after
you used the stockpiled groceries and gas.
You hunker down until the weatherman says,
The coast is clear. Then you put away plywood,
dump bags of sand out back. And that,
my friend, is when Pain seeps
through stucco cracks for a sneak attack.
Pain—the kind you can’t recover from
is an assassin. It carries your photo
in its pocket and stalks you, waiting.
Tracking you through city streets
by blood spilled in a non-fatal fray,
Pain quietly slips something in your drink
when you’re not looking and smiles
when they tell you to hang on,
the ambulance is on its way.
Low country fishermen are leaving shore,
the time has come again to drift away.
Mine throws me farewell daises—I want more
but crashing waves have drowned the words we say.
He loves me. No, he loves me not I think.
The roses he once gave are bleeding red,
and while their sentiment was soft and pink
dying, they scatter thorns across my bed.
I shout against the roar and hope he turns
before he finally sails beyond my sight;
I cast his name across the brackish churn
of waves that pull my voice beneath the tide.
I’m caught again inside my safety net—
wanting to swim, afraid of getting wet.
Marissa Glover teaches and writes in Florida. Her poetry was recently anthologized in Persona Non Grata by Fly on the Wall Press and is found in UK journals such as Amaryllis, Picaroon, Poetry24, Bonnie’s Crew, Solstice Sounds, Ink, Sweat & Tears, and Three Drops from a Cauldron. Follow her on Twitter @_MarissaGlover_