Wednesday, December 26, 2012


“Psychological trauma dims tens of millions of lives around the world… But what is trauma, exactly?

 “Both culturally and medically, we have long seen it as arising from a single, identifiable disruption. You witness a shattering event, or fall victim to it — and as the poet Walter de la Mare put it, ‘the human brain works slowly: first the blow, hours afterward the bruise.’ The world returns more or less to normal, but you do not.”David Dobbs,  “A New Focus on the ‘Post’ in Post-Traumatic Stress,” The New York Times, Dec. 24, 2012.

To the memory of Federico Licsi Espino
who died on a week holy in 2011

 yes, you do not
return to normal
no matter how you
repeatedly do
the exercises in
teaching your pain
how to sing,
to paraphrase
one arthur miller
who knew what loss
& similar shattering
events were like
it can start with something
that seems on the surface harmless:
a query
a warning
a letter
a phone conversation cut short
the clicking of the line
at the other end so loud
that the already shattered heart
shatters another time
& then it begins
the mind's slow descent 
to seductive orpheus-land,
the tangling of already
untangled webs begins anew
it’s the kind of spinning
even a mother spider
can stop to watch
in fascination & admiration
the road back to the light
can take, if you’re lucky,
oh, two, three weeks, 
half a year, even more,
if you’re unlucky,
with a gentle tweaking
of medications & consultations
with psychological/psychiatric experts
you whistle in the dark
it helps, sometimes
--Babeth Lolarga 
Dec. 26, 2012
10:39 a.m.

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