Unnecessary Pain

Eastern State Penitentiary, 2010

Nothing is more agonizing
than causing something pain.
No matter what the species
voluntary or unplanned.

Second worst is being witness
when nothing can be done.
Can’t always shield yourself
or turn around and run.

Weapons, disease, disasters from
words, bullets, bombs, or tires.
Injury or demise of heart,
soul, pride, or flesh & bone.

I’ve decided being empathetic
is a blessing and a curse.
But maybe being desensitized
would somehow be worse.

Avoiding exposure to violence;
stopped following the news.
Am being more thoughtful
‘bout what I say and do.

Trying to remind myself
that it is good for me to feel.
Don’t hold the tears back;
won’t make the pain less real.

But how can you stop
the visions from replaying?
Our brains can be so cruel
and repeating isn’t helping.