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Pain's Destination

for Daniel C. Roper, IV,
September 9, 1995 - December 4, 1995

by Janice Roper, 3/4/96

reprinted with permission

Interstate highway speed, the humming
dance of engine and music coming.
My fingers curl and cannot diffuse it
Memories flapping, that's when I lose it.

Tires turning, harmonious traffic
but jerk the wheel and just like magic
metal fetal curling to an 18-wheeler
crush and screech and an angel feeler

A darkness forms around a tunnel of light
A similar vision to that evil night
His body laid out on the hospital bed
A blanket-wrapped baby but cold, stiff and dead

The walls crashing in, no more tomorrow
Wailing a clenching heart's mother in horror
His eyes halfway open, the corpse of an infant
Shredding my life in one tiny instant

But time moves forward, just like in the car
I open my eyes and that's where we are
Here on this planet, blood in my veins
Past the next exit and in the fast lane

Going somewhere or running away?
Time drags me forward, three months now today
The house, the laundry, the meeting at work
It's a tightwire act just to not go berserk

To not jerk the wheel, to not make that drink
to not take those pills, stick my head in the sink
To not bite my nails, to not eat and get fat
To get my job done, to laugh and to chat

To be here today while my Danny is gone
living this nightmare, its just totally wrong
So I die to be with him in my imagination
While following the rules to pain's destination

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