“Instruction” by Linda Pastan

You must rock your pain in your arms
until it’s asleep, then leave it

in a darkened room
and tiptoe out.

For a moment you will feel
the emptiness of peace.

But in the next room
your pain is already stirring.

Soon it will be
calling your name.

“Instruction” by Linda Pastan, from the Paris Review (Issue 227, Winter 2018)

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