Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Walking in the Rain

I grew up in an era when boys did not cry...at least not when other boys could see...and began learning about pain at eighteen months of age. My feet and hands were severely burned by boiling water from a vaporizer, and there was doubt whether I would learn to walk because of the pain. I learned to walk and to control and suppress the pain, but in the process lost my childhood.

My Mom, my Dad, and me...
before my injury
My mother told me that, where other children might be serious, I was grim. I seldom smiled and almost never played with other kids. I grew to be the protector for my siblings, because I did not fear pain. Aloof and silent, I read and watched and waited, wading in when needed and remaining alone...except for a very few friends, most of whom were adults.

My mom often joked that I was born an old man, but we both knew why I liked to walk in the rain...


Walking in the Rain

At a young age I learned: don't sob and wail
When I hurt, and I would feel heroic.
That to let on that I hurt was to fail,
Seek sympathy where I should be stoic.
I sought to prove to myself I was tough,
And met distress with a grin and a song,
For no torment would ever be enough,
To make me admit anything was wrong.
I wanted always to smile through the pain,
Even though it felt I might be dying;
So l often went walking in the rain,
Because no one could see I was crying.
I'd lost myself in a forest of fears,
And sailed on an ocean of unshed tears.

Mick McKellar
January 2012

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