Paul Hostovsky

When you’re in pain
for a long time,
and then the pain finally goes away,
you miss the pain.
Of course you don’t
want the pain to come back—
it’s not that kind of missing.
It’s more like the locust tree
that littered the lawn
and the neighbor’s lawn
with all those ugly
toxic brown pods
covering the ground
and making a mess
of everything.
And the two of you
would meet beneath it
and walk the line,
bending to clean up your own side,
all the time shaking your head
about the tree between you.
This went on for years.
Then when you finally
cut the tree down,
you missed the tree.
Suddenly there was this
unobstructed view.
And you missed the tree.

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