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Pain by Susan Elkin

Thick black flaps

Ragged, jagged, tear about my head

Wrenching me apart.

I am blinded, deafened and made speechless

By the biting, clawing, dragging.

Worried, warm, loving fingers tenderly stroke my arm and face

Trying to comfort, to sooth.

In vain. I am elsewhere, swallowed whole by my pain.

I writhe.

I kick.

I try to fight the twisting and the torture.

To sleep or to die would be sweet release.

I am drowning in pain.

Far away, safe on the dry land of every day

The doctor’s voice: ‘An infection of the middle ear’.


Susan Elkin, 1991


Author information
Susan Elkin Susan Elkin is an education journalist, author and former secondary teacher of English. She was Education and Training Editor at The Stage from 2005 - 2016
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