Saving Life

The mess we poets make each time
we sit to the task of cutting
wounds into pained imagination —
making would-be scars on ethereal skin,
turning knife strokes on a page into
heartbeats, breaths, flashes of life —
can rival the floor
of an emergency surgery,
post-op.
But, if we are as attentive
to the job as that trauma doc —
recapturing existence before it
slips away from human grasp,
running to the dark deep
of the forgotten —
we heal the surgeon
as much as the patient,
and we’ve done our jobs.

©Joseph Hesch 2012

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4 thoughts on “Saving Life

  1. Words alone are quite powerful but in aa poet’s hands they can become destroyers or saviors. It isn’t just the poet though. The reader may assign them meaning as unintended by the poet. At that point, does the poet have bloodied hands?

    I know my intent when I write. Should words and phrases be second guessed to the point of censorship in order to make sure that no one takes offennse or is inadvertantly harmed in any way? I don’t think it is possible especially when a love poem to one person is interpreted as a personal affront by another.

    All I can do is keep my intent on the right side. If I presumed to protect every reader, I would be silent.

  2. This poem describes so well what we do as poets…such a clever poem, and yes, we heal ourselves by writing it & delving into those deeps …great work, dear Joe! 🙂 xox

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