they never go away

songs get you
         don’t they
you think
         you’re doing okay
misery more or less
         under control let’s say
loss and grief
         not present every hour
of every day
         you’ve found a foothold
in a warmer world
         you suppose
and then
out of the blue
         a half–remembered song
comes on the radio
          not even on
a music station
          but aired
for some other
          impenetrable reason
and the first notes
          never mind 
the first words
          immediately loosen your grip
put you back in the pit
          and you have
to climb out
          and start over again
and again
          for pain it seems
never sleeps 
          never dreams



Jeff Cloves
Illustration: Atlanta Wiggs




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