The pain of others

How do you carry your pain
All of the slights, jabs, cuts, bruises, broken tissue and bones?
Is it the weight on your shoulders that pulls you forward
Or the drop of your head?
A hesitance to make eye contact.
A resistance to any kindness, a suspicion of all?
Or do you wear it proudly
Bearing it all to show the world you cannot be stopped, cannot be shamed.
I slide my pain into an extra pocket on my heart
Keeping it close so I can pull it out and examine it like the frogs we dissected in school.
Are you there
Do you still hurt?
Is it less or more now that time has passed?
It’s probably the same.
Your edges have begun to fray, an old wound I cannot bury or let fly.
So back you go, nestled close and safe until the next time.

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