Her Pain

How impotent I feel!
Trapped. Fettered.
Caged, I watch a beautiful young woman,
Fragile, gifted, very dear to me
Raving, tearing her hair,
Dashing her head against the cold stone walls.
She reaches out her hand to me
But refuses my grasp.
I cannot avert my eyes; to do so would be to desert her.
I cannot heal her with my touch; her unwillingness forbids me.
So it's words, ghosts of sublime thought,
Phantoms of my emotions, shadows of my feelings,
Words, animal utterances rendered through intent divine,
Words, that are left as my sole device I have to soothe her,
The only shield with which I may protect her.
The only weapon I have against her demon.
And in the face of such terror, my words,
Stricken from me by her unyielding self-condemnation,
Leave me deserted and forlorn to face her anguish,
And I can but stare in muted horror as the Beast ravages her.

George Chadderdon © 1993