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Woman in the Day Room Crying | A Poem by Donal Mahoney

Lightning bolts in childhood
can scar the soul forever.
They’re a satanic baptism
when the minister’s your father,
mother, brother, sister,
anyone taller, screaming,
shooting flames from the sky
all day, all night.

The years go by
but the scars remain.
The pale moonlight of age
makes them easier to see
and scratch until they burst
and bleed again,
another reason I wake up
at night screaming.

When the daylight comes,
I talk about the scars
when no one is around
to say shut up!
I draw the details in a mural
on the walls and ceilings so
everyone can see the storms
that never left a rainbow.

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