Inner Monologue

I saw your pain today

(She thinks maybe she could say)

After delivering a message

Adrupt and pellmell

Pressed into service

En route to be counted

 

I saw your pain today

Tumbles in her head

Disappointment unwittingly caused

With notice of cancelled pictures

You clearly counted on taking

Before you leave next week

 

I saw your pain today

This woman whose story

She doesn’t begin to know

Who neither knows hers

Yet they labored elbow to elbow

In sinks of greasy suds

 

I saw your pain today

As you stuttered and protested

Plans for a momento

Of your prison girlfriend

You may well never see again

Are off-handedly dashed

 

I saw your pain today

Beneath your gruff and brusque

Streetwise profane bluster

Droppy-drawered swagger

Tough and impenetrable

Scarred exterior

 

I saw your pain today

Eyes, raw and wounded

As your voice rose, frustrated

Your girlfriend tried to calm you

This woman with whom your bond

Will soon be pulled apart

 

I saw your pain today

(She knows she cannot say)

Not here where rules defy it

Where toughness is the uniform

We tug on with our “greens”

And never ever shed

 

I saw your pain today

I’m sorry I intruded

Into a moment more private

Then the kiss I saw

You almost give your girlfriend

As I dashed to the doorway

 

I saw your pain today

Just right there in that moment

Oh so powerful and human

A sadness that you carry

Into your new beginning

Another gaping wound

 

I saw your pain today

(She wishes she could say)

Offer just that validation

Acknowledge that conundrum

That others from the “outside”

May never understand

 

I saw your pain today

I know you didn’t

Mean to show it

I saw your pain today

And in it

I saw mine.

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