The poem “Migraine” is written by Jane Schapiro and included in her most recent book of poetry, Warbler. Jane is the author of three books of poetry, Tapping This Stone (Winner of the Washington Writers’ Publishing House Award, 1995), Let The Wind Push Us Across (Antrim House, 2017), and Warbler (Kelsay Books,2020). Jane Schapiro is a writer living in Annandale, VA. 
The painting is by the artist Rita Blitt and serves as the cover art of Warbler

“What do we know beyond the rapture and the dread?” Stanley Kunitz

Migraine by Jane Schapiro


Pain, please I beg of you.
Let me sleep, let darkness rock me out of this world.
Take what you like, just go away.

What am I supposed to learn, what tidbit of truth
might I find circling this toilet bowl?
Please Pain, I beg of you.

Beyond the threshold, children’s voices:
Can we come in? What should we eat? Everyone,
can you go away?

Outside my room, questions pound
against my door. Do not disturb,
I beg of you.

How readily I betray,
pray to that Golden Calf:
Pain, take what you like.

Would I bind my first-born,
lead her to the altar?
Pain, please, I beg of you,
take what you like just go away.


There must be a blessing for when the veil lifts,
reveals the world as a luminous bride,
a few words we can whisper upon our return
when we kneel and kiss the Promised Land.
Anchored to the morning light, I sit,
mug of coffee, smell of toast,
the dog sleeping against my feet.
Ah, sweet life. Sweet, inviting life.

Down the street,
azaleas have bloomed.
A yard has exploded
in pinks and reds.
Neighbors gather.
Magnificent. Divine.
Nobody mentions the tangle of shrubs
that spawned such a glorious sight.