Joy In Our Pain – A Poem


*Dedicated to our guide through Santiago de Cuba. An everyday angel.


We sat

in a restaurant

that was nestled

in the clouds.

I could see

a couple dancing,

moving as if

the very air

was filled with


There were

apartments and dwellings

that rose up

high around us,

built on top

of one another.

I wondered if

those that lived

within those homes

knew that the

sky belonged to


Our guide

sat and regarded

us with kind

eyes that had

seen so much.

The air around him

was filled with

the scents of vinegar,

spiced shrimp and

marinated chicken with

beans and rice.

The scents evoked

a mellowing of

my spirit and

soothed my turbulent


He spoke:

The truth of it is that we find joy in our pain.”

Time had slowed

down when he

spoke, when he

shaped his words.

His voice was

melodic and each

rounded syllable was

like a musical


He said:

When life rises up to meet us, we look at it and laugh.”

He smiles when

he says this.

I can see

the twinkle in

his dark eyes.

They are windows

to his soul

and they contain


He said:

“There are times when I want to give up.”

He took a

moment to think

of his words

and I could see

him choosing and

discarding words that

didn’t make any


He said:

“But I never give up, there is too much life to live, no?”

The group sits

and we all

sip our beer,

listening to the

sounds of people

below us and

the noise of

traffic and I

realise that what

we are hearing

is the sound

of life being


One Comment on “Joy In Our Pain – A Poem

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