The Time Between Scars

The Time Between Scars

We measure each other in scars.
Try to prove ourselves in the marks on our bodies.

I got this one when I fell out of a tree.  
I could see the whole world.  
And just when I thought I had a firm hold, 
It all came crashing down around me.  
I’m surprised this is the only mark I have.

You counter, 
I got this one in a fight, 
Guy used a knife.   
The small white stain on your skin 
The only sign of injury. 
I don’t know whether I believe you.

I got this one, 
From a tractor tire.  
I was all bruised up. 
The doctors at the hospital asked my parents 
If they hit me.

I got this one 
When I put my hand through a window.  
It didn't hurt when it happened.  
It’s when I pulled it out that it started to bleed.  
I could see the bone. 

We scan each other’s bodies 
Trying to one-up the other.

I don’t know how I got this one.  
I don’t think anyone does, 
I’ve asked.  
Had it for as long as I can remember.  
I show the large gash running across the top of my knee.  
It runs pretty deep. 

And then there’s this red mark right beside it.  

You say it looks like a strawberry.
To me it looks like a heart.

They say people who have a heart-shaped birth mark have a guardian angel.
You tell me it’s a sign of the devil.

I get upset.  
You change the subject.

What happened here?
I point to your eyebrow

I was hit with a baseball bat.  
I had to get stitches.

Me too
I lift my hair to reveal the star on my forehead.  
I got three stitches.   
I should have waited to throw the ball.

I don’t mention all of the scars on his knuckles.  
The little white marks that I see when he holds my hands.  

I don’t ask about those.
And he doesn’t tell me.

This is how we measure ourselves.
The stories we tell,
Of the time between scars.

Words: ©2020LCR
Image: CCO


  1. I honestly don’t know how to describe my emotions right now. In the many years I have read poetry, yours is one of the best I have had the pleasure of reading. It’s deep, it’s sweet, leaves the reader with questions, leaves the reader thinking back to his/her own scars ... how they compare.

    1. You honour me, and I cannot tell you how much this means to me. I read yours with the same fascination and enjoyment. You make me think and laugh and pause. I truly find connection in your words and I find myself wishing I could write more like you. Thank you so, so much.


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