Patrick T. Reardon (left) and his brother David in 2002
Finding pain
by Patrick T. Reardon

You ask me if,
in writing about my
suicide-brother, I
find peace.

You ask me if
I find a clearing in
the forest where,
amid bird-song, the
sunlight shafts across
my face.

I have found a
jungle on a steep
hill rising to a
mountain and a
mountain top, a
rainstorm and then
blizzard, a whirlwind,
and, at the peak, stingy
air and greedy cold and a
panorama of the Earth spread
for me as
if I were an asthmatic,
hypothermic god, as
if I were again the baby fighting
my way blindly from the dark, as
if I were the
giver of birth, as
if I were the cribbed
infant with no words and a
dread
dream, as
if I were, like all of us, Job
raging out at the Almighty in
the knowledge of death and
the schooling of pain, and
stretching
out to grab
the sorrow-
encrusted
joy
of breathing,
for as
long as
breath
comes.

PHOTO: Patrick T. Reardon (left) with his brother David. From the book Requiem for David (Silver Birch press, 2017).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Well, since the February publication of my book of poems centered on the suicide of my brother David, many people wonder if I’ve found peace through the process of writing and publishing the work.  The answer is very complicated, and that’s what I tried to address in this poem.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patrick T. Reardon is the author of Requiem for David, a collection of poems (Silver Birch Press, 2017).  His Pump Don’t Work blog is at patricktreardon.com.