I had nothing but tears
warm as blood
a hemorrhage of grief
all that day and through the night.
They took my nail file and pocket knife
and set someone there
on constant watch
in case I found the sudden
energy to act.
But I’d lost so much,
the flow of tears like blood
from an untended wound
diminished me
hour by hour
until I had
nothing to take me
from one night to the next.
I was too far away
for words to reach
that morning when the chaplain came.
Instead of prayer she took her violin
and played for us,
five people in a small room
all broken, stopped, defeated,
derailed, unfit, caught up in knots,
dumb with sorrow–

And music fell on us
like sweet rain,
a blessed absolution
outside the rules of pain.

Image credit:Louis Blythe/Unsplash

I studied art and literature at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, but spent most of my working life as a Registered Nurse. I have had work published in many online and print journals, including Third Wednesday, Gnarled Oak, Earth's Daughters, and  The Ekphrastic Review. I have an e chapbook "Things I Was Told Not to Think About" available as a free download from Praxis magazine. Recently moved to Florida,  I'm slowly adjusting to my new surroundings, happily enjoying the gorgeous sunsets and abundant bird life.