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The Ruminators

John Singer Sargent, "Orestes Pursued by the Furies," 1921, detail

114 words

We nurse old wounds. Slowly. Carefully. Some
Are so flimsy, they might fall apart from
Being examined too much, or too long,
By anyone but us. Still, most are strong,
Or strong enough. Each one of them’s become
A special thing, a poisoned point, a strum
Of nasty notes producing a thick hum
Of wretchedness and bile. We like that song.
We nurse old wounds
As we sing it: “La la and dum de dum,
We don’t forget anyone who has done
Something wrong to us. La la
.” Every wrong.
Every word. Every day we pull that throng
Of past hurts up, and, as we recall them,
We nurse old wounds.


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One Comment

  1. Jim Stark
    Posted December 15, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    If you don’t “nurse old wounds,” then you make the same stupid mistakes over and over…

    You need to recognize and deal with pain to overcome it. “Nursing old wounds is bad” seems a bit trite.

    That’s the healthy way. Of course, most people are so petty that their old wounds are flimsy. So the poem is correct in that regard.

    We need to bring back some acceptable violence to encourage people to keep their old wounds in check. Too many people seem to think it’s their right to take out their private frustrations on others. The threat of a smack to the head would cure that.

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