There is pain that at first you cannot bear,

but like all pain it will soon subside,

from angry throb to dull ache, and eventually

a twinge of the heart that comes with the seasons.

Like my arthritic knees, I feel it most

on rainy days and when the temperature falls

into Texas-cold, forty degrees and sunny in January,

but there’s no drug to ease it, no bottled help.

Heartsore at first, but then merely sore,

except when you remember, or see

something they would have liked, some joke,

or some silly, stupid show on TV.

There is no cure, no treatment but to wait,

time’s passage to mollify the pain,

avoid the indignant stare, the shrill lament,

the keening of what could have been.

John Rutherford works at Lamar University in Beaumont, TX and has been published in the Texas Poetry Assignment, the Concho River Review and Z Publishing's Best New and Emerging Poets of Texas. He is the author of Birds in a Storm from Naked Cat Publishing.