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Kiera Collins


In this poem, I personified pain and used it to explain the progression of a healing journey and one’s own process with understanding their emotions and eventually accepting them. I wrote this poem during a time when there wasn’t a lack of Pain’s presence. Describing how Pain acted in the beginning of the poem was therapeutic as if writing down the experience made it real, and I couldn’t tell myself I had been making it up or exaggerating. The idea of personifying pain and spending so much time to get to know it as if it were a friend helped me accept its presence without guilt or shame. Even when I would experience pain, it had something to teach me, or at the very least hold my hand when I was lonely. However, the idea that this friend I have spent so long with could disappear was troubling. Although I know I needed to feel the pain and hurt to get through it, I found it hard to let it go as it was what I had known and grew to be comfortable with for so long. I came back to the poem once I had been feeling better and added the experience on the end as well. I wanted to emphasis the presence of Pain on my birthday because on a day that was so filled with happiness, I still had the bittersweet presence of Pain at the end of the day to sit with me. It is important to note that this poem does not follow conventional formatting or grammar. It is meant to be read with the ‘abnormal’ spacing as pauses. The longer the space, the longer a pause to take while reading.

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Author Biography

Kiera Collins, University of Illinois Urgana-Champaign

Kiera Collins is a senior majoring in Social Work. After completing her bachelor’s, Kiera plans on attending UIUC in the MSW program, concentrating in the mental health field. She hopes to work with those who are deaf and/or hard of hearing along with clients who are experiencing disordered eating.