How do you draw pain?


How do you draw pain?

Not the physical kind
The invisible kind
That’s in all of us
Lurking
Waiting
Growing
Until it becomes too much
And bursts out
In the form of words
The kind that eats
From the inside out
And feeds on hurt
And loss
And regret
They say pain
Demands to be felt
So how do you draw pain?

I know how to draw happiness
Happiness is red ballooons
Gold and shimmering light
The glowing in her eyes
The warmth of his hand
Happiness is sparklers in the night
Eating strawberries on a blanket
It’s laughing until tears
Streak your cheeks
It’s grinning with pride
At your completed masterpiece
Happiness is fleece pajamas
Cuddling at three A.M.
It’s giggling after catching
Your friend’s eye during class
Yes, I know how to draw happiness
But how do you draw pain?

I know how to draw anger
Anger is slamming your door
It’s ripping a photograph
Throwing a textbook
Against the wall
Anger is screaming through the phone
A flushed face
With loose strands of hair
It’s throwing your hands up
In frustration
The sarcastic comment
On your tongue
Anger is words you regret
That come tumbling out
Without a thought
Sure, I know how to draw anger
But how do you draw pain?

I know how to draw sadness
Sadness is a forgotten memory
Fallen petals off a rose
Smudged windows and gray clouds
Dust covering a grand piano
In an empty hall
Sadness is a stained dress
Crying in a bathroom stall
Saying goodbye to someone you love
At a funeral
Sadness is a false promise
A broken smile
A broken heart
It’s finding out he’s lying to you
Only after it’s too late
Sadness is a shattered vase
Teardrops on a guitar
A cabinet filled with spider webs
A lone flame
A fallen star
Yes, I know how to draw sadness
But how do you draw pain?

I know how to draw fear
Fear is an unanswered phone call
It’s peering through a crack in a door
Afraid of what you’ll see
On the other side
Fear is a strange noise in the dark
Your pulse thrumming in your ears
The hesitation before
She says, “I do”
Fear is a rush of adrenaline
The quickening of a breath
The sound of footsteps
The cry of a siren
Rushing past
It’s the realization
You’re being swept off your feet
And you’re completely helpless
And alone
Of course I know how to draw fear
But how do you draw pain?

I know how to draw love
Love is a comforting hug
A concerned voice
His hand running through your hair
Sharing secrets
Through passing notes
Your mother bringing you breakfast
In bed
Love is holding hands
While gazing at the clouds
It’s smiling at her
When she’s not paying attention
It’s the hands braiding your hair
The voice singing you to sleep
Love is a trusting child
Tracing hearts on mirrors
Telling someone to wear their seatbelt
Someone letting you know
They care
Yes, I can draw love
I can draw happiness
And anger
And sadness
And fear
“But how,” I still ask,
“How do you draw pain?”

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This Poems Story

I wrote this the other night, and honestly, I don’t know how the idea came to me. I didn’t even think while writing; I just let the pencil be moved by my emotions. I know it’s kind of pessimistic, I guess, but I hope you enjoy it anyway!