Robert Peake

 

 

 

Letter From My Migraine

I got a letter from my migraine yesterday.
The penmanship was impeccable.

It mentioned how things just weren’t
working out, me with the drive

to win all the prizes now gone.
It had found some nice neurotic

who could keep on working long after
her eyesight went, would vomit

into the sink, rinse once, then go
back to writing that grant proposal,

typing blind against the deadline.
So I gave them my blessing

to cohabit—the happy couple—
but offered to let him visit,

once in awhile, for old times’ sake.
After all, we’d been together

since the concussion, gulping pills
and moaning, begging to die.

I tell myself I can still enjoy
a darkened room, alone, still place

a cold cloth over my eyes, not bulging,
or backed with needles, just two eyes.

I imagine coins laid on the lids
of the dead, who cannot feel the coldness.

What is life without pain, or the threat
of pain? It is not quite death, I know.

I will not pretend to miss him,
but I sign my response “with love.”

 

 

Robert Peake is an American poet living in England. His poems have appeared in Magma, Iota, North American Review and Poetry International. Robert writes about poetry and culture at www.robertpeake.com .

 

6 comments

  1. Excellent poem by one of my favourite poets, thank you for sharing this.

  2. Valerie Morton

    This is an amazing, original poem written with immense humour (that anyone could write humorously about a migraine is hard to imagine until you read it). These lines really resonated with me:

    I tell myself I can still enjoy
    a darkened room, alone, still place

    a cold cloth over my eyes, not bulging,
    or backed with needles, just two eyes.

    A very clever poem which took me right into the migraine with its voice. Great stuff. Thanks.

    Love the irony in the ending.

  3. Margaret Peake

    Thanks for sharing! I love this!

  4. I liked the questions about pain, and threat of, in life. Reminds me how much I habitually identify myself according to pain, rather than joy. Fortunately I’m getting younger as I age, erasing the lines about pain from my back pages. Thanks for this poem.

  5. Marian Sears

    Can I still smile while tears touch my cheek? I know how the pain stops everything while it has its way. Take good care. Love and Gratitude–M

  6. Love this poem. Wow, Robert Peake.

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