The Pain of Panic by Samantha McElroy

Samantha McElroy


A woman pained

Pounding, repeatedly. Monotonous
leaping, banging against a cage
the heart, the rowdy horse on the team,
won’t settle,
must be freed.

Causes quick and unfulfilling breaths
That damnable continual pulsing noise.
Transparent hands grip one another,
and still, choppy air,

Alarms sounding in the brain,
veins bulging with blood – on a
suicide mission out the gaping hole
in the stomach

There is a root, an answer pack
if math is any indication
So, inside the heaving chest, past the blood pumper
we find the current soul, the dictator.
it has injected fear into the flesh

It wishes not to surrender to the black marauder
The future is too uncertain to untether –
to hand power to the exalter.
No, life was given, like free weather
And the past is too great to gamble on.

Now queasy. Nausea hitting hard
red puddle growing outwards, light flickers
pain like a buried shard

“I miss my favorite wicker…”
the delirious brain offers
the battle has heightened, the soul starting to lose
dark getting into the heart’s coffer.

Words are being read far away
a wound being staunched
soul hanging on and sense entering the fray
hopes, memories, religion launched

No, death shall not enter into the temple
called the body, just yet
Appeals and penance have not been made
to the Lord, and this almost unconscious fear
Has saved this man, so he can live on.

A rosary is pushed into the still unconscious hand
blood cleaned and gone,
and healthy care is on demand.

and this next breath, is really quite calm.

Analysis of the Work

I would say that the point of this poem is to convey that there is, indeed true pain in panic. That feeling is not one ever wishes to experience, and it is a stifling emotion. 

This piece portrays a man on the edge of death, and how both his conscious and subconscious are trying to pull him away from that void. It is my belief that while death is unusually unavoidable, if you have something real and true to live for (in this case, man’s fear that he had not earned a place in Heaven) you are more likely to pull through. 

One can only hope that when their time comes they are at peace with their life’s decisions. That is all that can be wished. 

About the Poet

Samantha McElroy is a senior in high school from Upstate New York. Being a Catholic, she enjoys examining life from a more spiritual perspective and that often comes out her my writing.

An analysis of your poem (for poetry alone) : analysis : The poem is about a man on the edge of death, and the conscious and unconscious battle that ensues to insure life will remain. There is a strong pain in panic, and I hope you can feel that through these words.

Share Protection Status
Scroll to Top