Small Suffering

Small suffering

is for the page only—

for this white rectangle

flecked with black letters

that spell out the complaints

of the lucky,

the fortunate,

the fed,

the ones like me who know

that no voice should ever

carry the sound of our tiny


which are, compared

to the real pain of others—

nothing more

than a water stain

which will evaporate, dry,

and tomorrow,

barely exist.




DeMaris Gaunt


Published by demarisgaunt

I currently live in Greenwood, Indiana. I love to listen to music, books on CD, podcasts or NPR as I work in my studio.  My favorite artists are Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. I love poetry, but only the good stuff that isn’t so abstract I can’t understand it. Abstraction better lends itself to visual art, I think. Stephen Dunn is my favorite poet. He’s said just about anything that can be said about the inner workings of the heart and mind. My favorite novel is Atonement by Ian McEwan. My all time favorite band is The Cure. I love science, and anything that relates to how the mind works. I don’t believe in the supernatural. If I could meet anyone in the world, it would be Richard Dawkins or Steven Pinker. If you don’t buy my art or read my poetry, buy one of their books. It will enrich if not change your life.  My favorite things to do are hiking, kayaking and camping. My favorite food is so common, I’ll keep you in suspense (It starts with a P). I prefer chocolate to vanilla. Green is my favorite color. I have an aversion to planning or scheduling of any kind, and I live for spontaneous adventures! Telephone conversations make me anxious, and I avoid them at almost all cost. I had a happy childhood. I’m having a pretty fantastic adulthood. I have every intention of seeing my 100th birthday, after which I will happily relinquish my guts to the future of medicine. Cheers! ~DeMaris

3 thoughts on “Small Suffering

  1. I do appreciate my good fortune every day. So many creative people are unable to have the luxury of time…and this poem, in truth, came out of not being able to go to lunch with my husband, which is such a tiny disappointment it’s hardly worth noting, and the poem came from my feeling guilty about feeling disappointed! I mean, I’m not captive, I’m not starving, I’m not oppressed! BUT…the feeling demanded to be written!


  2. A friend of mine in college wrote a piece of magical realism about a realm of the afterlife where people were sent not because of their sin, their righteousness, etc…, but according to the depth of their loss in life. One guy whose greatest loss was having his favorite pen stolen was surprised to meet this woman who had been widowed for many decades. The gist was that depth of suffering is relative to the sufferer. The irony, of course, is that he put in “on the page” and moved on. Oh, and by the way, he was the one whose pen was stolen.


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