Water Torture

Watching his pain
that impotent frustration
as he cries in the corner
for no reason I can see
is nagging,
it’s a niggling feeling.
There is something I
can do for him
I’m sure
but I don’t know what.

I want to tell him
this too shall pass
that he won’t remember
what torments him today
in a few hour’s time
that no repercussions
will follow this pain
whatever may have caused it.

I want to belittle his suffering
so he knows
it’s all going to be all right
but I suspect that
will belittle him
and his tears will fall faster
when he thinks
that no one understands him.

I understand him;
I do.
I felt the same miseries
(I sometimes still do).
I want to ease his issues
but I have no strategies,
nothing that doesn’t feel
like a drop in bucket,
some lame cliche.

But cliches exist
for a reason
and perhaps
an expression of empathy
is all there is to offer.
So I say it,
"There there,"
and he tells me to fuck off
and for just a second
he’s escaped his hurt
and I feel like
it’s a job well done.

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