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.