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.
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,
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.
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.
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.ReplyDelete
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.Delete