Ruth Stone

(June 8, 1915 – November 19, 2011)

The Wound - Poem by Ruth Stone

The shock comes slowly
as an afterthought.

First you hear the words
and they are like all other words,

ordinary, breathing out of lips,
moving toward you in a straight line.

Later they shatter
and rearrange themselves. They spell

something else hidden in the muscles
of the face, something the throat wanted to say.

Decoded, the message etches itself in acid
so every syllable becomes a sore.

The shock blooms into a carbuncle.
The body bends to accommodate it.

A special scarf has to be worn to conceal it.
It is now the size of a head.

The next time you look,
it has grown two eyes and a mouth.

It is difficult to know which to use.
Now you are seeing everything twice.

After a while it becomes an old friend.
It reminds you every day of how it came to be.

Comments about The Wound by Ruth Stone

  • (1/27/2015 10:10:00 AM)

    once something mean is said the words can never be called back...good poem.. (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Savita Tyagi (1/27/2015 7:59:00 AM)

    Absolutely amazing. Unsurpassed craftsmen ship. It is theater affect of harsh words that lingers on and on! (Report) Reply

  • (1/27/2015 7:43:00 AM)

    Just absolutely awesome! How often do we cover our mouth to curtail our words? Only for them to become a monster within us. What a truly perceptive poet.... Is now added to my favorites! (Report) Reply

  • Pranab K Chakraborty (1/27/2015 6:23:00 AM)

    Fantastic expression with skillful craft. Last two lines really horrible! (Report) Reply

  • Thomas Duncky (9/14/2013 2:09:00 PM)

    The power of words, the danger that they can bring (Report) Reply

  • Thomas Duncky (2/8/2012 4:23:00 AM)

    There once lived the mighty Ruth much unsong a poetess she was. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 27, 2011

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