Poem of the Week: Pain

Mary Joan Meagher, Minnesota Branch
Once there was a light –
But it was hidden.
Sometimes a gleam showed,
But hardly anyone knew it was there.
The light was in a small dark room.
It was the only light there.
It liked the room, but it felt
there must be more room outside.
Someone had locked it in!
One day the light felt
especially cramped and lonely.
It thought, “I’ll gleam brighter
and give off some heat.
Maybe my owner will let me out.”
So the light pulled its energy together
and concentrated hard and flared up
high and red and burned
the heart it was in.
The heart hurt and broke open
a little.
The owner of the light in the heart
cried and then opened wide
her eyes.
Suddenly there flashed up and out
the Light.
It glowed with joy and sang to its owner,
“Now I am free. Let us speak to each other.
I will return to your heart.
Just leave the door open, please.”



  1. Mary Jo, I love the open-ended nature of your poem. It is specific in its metaphor, but can have broad interpretation for the one who reads it. Lovely work! Gail

  2. Thanks for your reply Mary Jo. I think you wrote it well to fit the needs of your individual readers–rather that suiting it to the one teen/parent situation. You’ve created a universal poem to offer hope and joy to many.Thank you for sharing it.

  3. I’d love to hear others take on “Pain.” I’ve read several times, as we should all poetry, and I believe the little light is what pain suppresses. Our joy and ability to sing are blocked by grief and hurt. When a spark of joy escapes, awareness dawns that there’s still life out there. Communication and openness will promote healing and the return of joy. I’m eager to hear other’s interpretation of this lovely poem.

    • Thank you for commenting on my poem. Your analysis is lucid and very clear. I wrote the poem for a teen age girl who was using drugs and alcohol and afraid to tell her parents she needed help. After opening up to them and counselors, she is now happy and sober.
      Every poem has many meanings, and I think you nailed this one! Mary Jo