With subtle starts in fingertips,
callousness blunts senses dumb

in every lessened friction gripped
with irritations dimmed to dull,

encrusting epidermal sense
within a thicker, deader shell,

until perception's apathy,
indifferent sans empathy,

when feelings cannot touch or bring
and senselessness turns everything

to desolation and despair
once emotions stop to care

and emptiness is all you grasp
and meaningless it is to gasp

as nothingness encloses all
in the blindness of your fall

that day you chose to look away
from what your eyes began to say

and closed your ears to wisdom's word
ignoring what they should have heard.

Come face what you've denied: the hurt
and everything you did dessert.

Be vulnerable. Remove the cast.
Experience the pains at last.

Only then will healing start
to tenderize that hardened heart,

revive and thrive, as well it must,
lest you become insensate dust.

Callousness © Copyright 2021, Robert J. Tiess.

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Submitted: June 25, 2019