What else can democratize us like chronic
pain? The ones who feel it know the truth
of tired, aching joints and loosening tooth
The fear that it will get worse, we’re sick
All of us, to death, eventually, and pain
is like the string around the finger: remember
remember, the coming of bleak december
It changes our days, the way we seek friends
or deny them, ashamed to admit our fragility
For some it hardens them like knives of death
It is coming, nothing matters, stand hard, sterility.
Others say the hurt reminds us there is no wealth
No peace, nothing, but to ease the pain, and empathy.
These, the two tribes that rise for the commonwealth.