Lesser Pain

I heard a little girl
raging through the house
and hit the littler ones, scratching,
her small hand, lesser pain under her fingernails,
lesser pain than that which leaked
out in bruises on her legs and arms
Left by her stepfather.
And her mother sat silenced by fear.

I heard a man scream: ‘a frickin nigga’
Lesser pain dripping down the corners
of his foaming mouth
While he hammered and broke universe
into segments and pieces,
With lesser pain than that
of the loneliness of his life
And his fear to love and lose again,
once his mother lay silenced in grave.

I heard bombs explode
On bodies mutilated
Shredded and cut on the sharp edges of the lesser pain
lesser pain than that of hopeless existence
loss of dignity, loss of voice
death of seeds that you grow
In your grandfather’s garden.
Pain measured up against pain
like colored rings in baby toy stacker…
And their mothers silenced by beliefs.

Lesser pain lurks and grows,
Sneaks in the footsteps of his older brother.
But what if mothers are silent no more?
What if they rise from their graves, from fear and opinions,
And their hands, as strong as those men,
Drag out lesser pain from dark attics
Boil it in large steaming pots
Dry lesser pain on a line,
Where it flaps in the wind
like a peace dove, stuck
But we don’t need symbols,
We need mothers’ soft hands to brush out the wrinkles
For us to wrap the wounds
And cover each other in that warmth



About BeeHappee

Where have all the bees gone? Where have all the flowers gone? https://beehappeenow.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Poetry, Society and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Lesser Pain

  1. noblethemes says:

    Oh my … I am actually at a loss for words to describe just how powerful is this poem; it strikes down to the depths of my soul, so painfully poignant. It is stunning with sharp, all-too-real imagery. It is emotionally riveting and so finely crafted. Thank you so very much for sharing this with our very deeply scarred world … very appropriate, very timely.

  2. NeoNoah says:

    The last three lines are you!!!

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thanks, Mr. Noah, I hope I can make one decent great grandmother one day, till then, – much to learn. Hope you got some good harvesting done. Last Sunday we were picking spinach and rutabagas and today we are buried in a snowstorm roasting chesnuts. πŸ™‚ Best of luck and joy picking out a live Christmas tree this season with your girl.

  3. shoreacres says:

    The words that came to mind were Jeremiah’s, from the Old Testament: “A voice is heard in Ramah — Rachael, weeping for her children, because they are not.”

    There are terrors we hardly see because they are so common. Then, one day, the reports comes on the newscast, and we say, “How could a mother allow that? How could a father do that?” I truly believe that it’s a cultural change that is needed to save this country, and you’ve pointed directly to one possible starting point.

  4. Well done! Often a person’s grave is his or her inaction and indifference immersed in fear.

  5. smilecalm says:

    well written
    sad reflection
    of where
    now stands,
    fully immersed
    in the poisons
    of greed, hatred & delusion.

    with luck & skill
    may mothers
    rule humans.

  6. Extraordinary! –Paul

  7. BeeHappee says:

    Thanks, Paul. And then I heard about the calls of surveylance of mosques. It instantly brings back memories of me, a 7 year old, in a church, while the doors are locked, and some teachers and town officials are banging on the door, screaming, cursing to get in to check on who is in the church, so they can be punished. I am there, all alone with some other small kids, thinking they will bring us or our parents to jail. I still remember how afraid I was.
    Thanks. I think I am going to join you watching SNL… πŸ™‚

  8. The symbolism of pain, lesser and greater, hidden and visible, in this is deeply moving, Bee. Much of what we are seeing in our country, and elsewhere in the world, is drawn from pain undealt with or unspoken of. Rather than dealing with the pain, some folks choose to be embarrassed by it (often rightly so as the may be ridiculed for the expression) and look for outlets of a negative quality. We are seeing that in the support for some of the politics currently at play. Sad.

  9. smcasson says:

    This was powerfully moving. Very nice piece!

  10. blazeburgess says:

    This was so touching. Indescribably.

    I think what’s so endearing about your lighter writing is that your capable of being dark but you decide to live in a warmer lighter world, much like the conclusion of this piece suggests.

    For the record, I’ve bought anthologies based on poems that weren’t as good as this.

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