Affliction Poem by Ward Kelley

Atoms of Affliction
Ward Kelley

The storm, the uncontrolled ugly event,
the elements that make the flesh squirm,

can never be worse to the skin than what
afflicts it from the inside. For such interior

events often are seen as uncontrolled or
ugly, but the elements of which they are

comprised are mostly created by ourselves,
by the way we choose the atoms of our own

affliction. Normally it is wrong to view the tempests
of the soul as weather, as something natural beyond

our control, so like a poem whose tides come unbidden
but can be funneled into a thing refined and helpful.