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The Problem of Pain

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It keeps other things

From happening

It freezes us

In case the next move

Should hurt more

We get caught up in

Indictment and

In judgment

We want the world

To stop hurting so much

This way

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A muscle pain

We can get over

Even headaches can be

Resolved (at worst,

through wishful-thinking

maybe Ice

maybe thinking

about ice)

But pain offers no answer

To itself

Perhaps because the

Only resolution is

From outside

From someone else

Who gets it

And who cares without a fee

With no assurance

Of divine guarantee

The odds say we’ll get over it

The odds say

That we don’t

There are too many ways

Of counting

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Pain leaps us into an unknown

A life without

An anchor except the one

We do not want

And can’t control

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Let it go

Let go life

Not at all to die

But in waiting

And in waiting

Doctors without doubt,

If it’s that kind

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But this, the kind

That wears the soul away

Wait

And wait

And try to live

Fractured, meantime

Until someone takes hold

In a way that angels and grace

Have not offered

On this side

So much

Except perhaps

In mystics

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C L Couch

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The Problem of Pain is a popular treatise by C. S. Lewis.  A more narrative response to the problem is his A Grief Observed.

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Photo by Oleg Laptev on Unsplash

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