Thursday, May 6, 2010

While we're on the subject...

Having posted the last entry about battle scars, I thought I'd also share this poem from awhile back.


I’m not left-handed,

But I wear my watch on my right.

And people always say,

“A lefty, eh?”

like they’ve uncovered my secret—

aren’t they observant?

But what they don’t know

Or fail to see

Are the scars on that arm—

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven—

The graffiti pain scrawled across my skin

To say,

“I was here.”

So long ago you’d think the details might be fuzzy,

That bone was split

(to say “I broke my arm” implies complicity, intent)

and, like the shriveled root

of some poor upturned tree,

protruded, jagged, from my skin.

And yet a mystery occurred:

In time, the jigsaw pieces

Of nerve and vein and bone

Fused back in seamless functionality,

As though their time exposed to air

Had no effect at all.

Except, of course,

For scars—

That living tissue showing death,

A tattooed monument

To brokenness,

My coat of arms.

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