Swans Commentary » swans.com March 26, 2007  



This House Of Pain
For Matthew, Jonathan, Leo, Kyle, Patrick, and Samantha


by Gerard Donnelly Smith





(Swans - March 26, 2007)  
After the morphine, the codeine, or the OxyContin wears off
his grim face returns; teeth clench, eyes squeeze shut, muscles go rigid
and my son repeats and repeats, "I feel like I'm dying; I want out, I want out."
Finally the nurse answers the call, inserts the needle effortlessly
and jacks him up again; he begins to calm, his face begins to pale
back from the ruddy anger of too much, too much and into sleep,
then we roll him on his side to inspect the source: a six-inch incision
along his spine, beneath, steel rods now support his fused vertebrae.
When he wakes, he is manic and hungry; talking in blue streaks,
his normal face returns: teeth unclench, eyes open bright, muscles go liquid
and my son repeats and repeats, "I love you mom, dad; thank you; thank you."
Finally I am strong again, and my replies come effortlessly
and when I bolster him up, he begins to ask where, why, what happened;
so again we recount the accident, the smashed car, her death, his surgery,
then pray he will remember this time, remember the source: six friends
along for the joy ride, beneath crumpled steel lost now their invulnerability.
Then the pain hits again; the denial and the regrets subside finally;
suddenly their childhood faces return: we smile, tears well, legs go limp.
Both joy and sorrow mingling, both the bitter and the sweet emotions
overpower us like the smell of flowers at the hospital or the funeral.
When composure comes again, we try to maintain a semblance
of normality to fuse the family back together, to rehabilitate the heart
grown weary with physical therapy, overwrought by joy and relief.


· · · · · ·


If you find our work valuable, please consider helping us financially.

· · · · · ·


Internal Resources



About the Author

Gerard Donnelly Smith on Swans (with bio).



Please, feel free to insert a link to this work on your Web site or to disseminate its URL on your favorite lists, quoting the first paragraph or providing a summary. However, please DO NOT steal, scavenge, or repost this work on the Web or any electronic media. Inlining, mirroring, and framing are expressly prohibited. Pulp re-publishing is welcome -- please contact the publisher. This material is copyrighted, © Gerard Donnelly Smith 2007. All rights reserved.


Have your say

Do you wish to share your opinion? We invite your comments. E-mail the Editor. Please include your full name, address and phone number (the city, state/country where you reside is paramount information). When/if we publish your opinion we will only include your name, city, state, and country.


· · · · · ·


This Edition's Internal Links

The Royal We And The Royal My - Carol Warner Christen

Heck Of A Job, Uncle Sam - Gilles d'Aymery

Operation Iraqi Freedom - Cartoon by Jan Baughman

There Are No Right Wars - Gilles d'Aymery

No Excuse For Inaction - Philip Greenspan

Devices And Things - Martin Murie

Schizoid Comedy & Stephen Colbert - Charles Marowitz

Paradero Ltd. - Short Story by Marie Rennard

Stage Struck In London And Dublin - Theatre Review by Peter Byrne

Ulysses: Kuenda beyond n.2 - Poem by Guido Monte

Blips #49 - From the Martian desk - Gilles d'Aymery

Letters to the Editor

· · · · · ·


[About]-[Past Issues]-[Archives]-[Resources]-[Copyright]



Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art13/gsmith84.html
Published March 26, 2007