On the deserted beach
I walk with a pain shadow.
Hip searing with each step
I move forward slowly.
My joint tears away.
A sharp arrow pierces through me.
I stop to find stillness yet the
pain shadow follows.
Gazing into the ocean,
I inhale deeply
then exhale with force
trying to release the pain.
But it won’t let go.
I must abandon this pain shadow.
This constant companion.
This unwelcome thing.
That has attached itself to me.
19 years of unrelenting pain.
Countless attempts to escape
to normal days, when the beach
meant walks and waves; picnics and laughter.
I climb the wooden stairs to look down
on the wide expanse of shoreline.
In pain I stand tall above the sprawling
desolate beach that goes on forever.
I envision myself burying the pain shadow
beneath the sandy surface,
deep in a restrictive dark hole
where it can no longer define my world.
And in that moment I am free.
This art is a courtesy ofPainExhibit.org, an online educational, visual arts exhibit from artists with chronic pain who use art to express some facet of the pain experience.
The Pain Exhibit’s mission is to educate healthcare providers and the public about chronic pain through art, and to give voice to the many who suffer in silence.
Pain Exhibit recently launched its new Spanish language website at PainExhibit.org/es.