To Brave Pain – a poem by Cheryl Slover-Linett

To Brave Pain
	after Ellen Bass

To turn toward it
When you’d rather bolt
Than watch your world
Dissolve, acid in water, 
Your eyes pierced by the sting.
When fear pins you, its river
Rushes, floods you, its g-force 
Smothers you submerged,
When grief tears at you 
Like your own teeth,
And you wonder
Will I surface? 
You pick up that pain 
Where you abandoned it
In the corner 
Under the dirty laundry 
And you say, okay, try me.
I’m ready this time.

Cheryl Slover-Linett (she/her) is a poet based in Santa Fe, NM. Her poetry is featured or forthcoming in Eunoia Review, River Mouth Review and Haiku Journaland she serves on the editorial team at High Desert Journal. In addition to writing, she leads wilderness retreats through Lead Feather, the nature non-profit she founded in 2008, and spends as much time as she can in the high desert mountains of northern New Mexico.

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