Those People Seem Familiar

Elizabeth Mitchell has had severe central pain for decades. She expresses her isolation and the unreal quality of living with it. Hers is the poetry of the pain holocaust.


Paradise Lost

by Elizabeth Mitchell

The sadness resumed today
Quiet, brief, and unholy
Fury stalled and looked away
revealing lost memories

Pain holds its boundary
but midst the war
I looked toward humanity
at people from afar

Their longings so distant
are mostly unremembered
but for the briefest instant
some familiar whispers stirred

They see future as a friend
with forward looking eyes
and energy enough to waste
upon the sea and skies

They rather look like me, those humans
for all the eye can see
(less dreams in scattered coffins)
beneath love’s canopy.

The burning killed the God in me
and killed me in my children
Still, how the embers tease and taunt
when they glow and glisten

The smoke returns, the vision fades
I hear the refrain a demon made
Between life and death; between death and hell
between hell and darkness; here I dwell