I came across this poem on a blog by a woman named Maureen E. Doallas, from her book Neruda’s Memoirs. I’m not (I’m ashamed to say) that much of a poetry lover, but when I read this I was left breathless at its beauty.
Pain that breaks open our hearts
isn’t a wound we can stitch
to a close
The way we patch
the hole that a bullet makes
or lace the skin that bones pierce.
When our hearts break,
pain rises between the gaps left behind
for the mind to wander in
And tears, when they come,
get swapped for words we’ve learned
to speak only to ourselves.
We can’t force pain
the way our hearts pull blood in
before pushing it out.
We have to take its measure slowly,
wait for it to dull,
offer it time and our memory.