This scar is from the playground.
Running, laughing, tripping,
My bent knee caught me,
Before the padding of my hands.

This scar is from my dog.
Cuddling, playing, over-exuberance.
She wanted me to throw the ball,
Her excitement and my hand collided.

This scar is from chickenpox.
Young, itchy, common.
It’s grown with me as I’ve grown,
A reminder of the normality of childhood.

This scar is a cigarette burn,
Secret, hidden, evidence.
Proof of the last time,
Some other enemy left their mark.

These scars are from my greatest foe. This scar is from my nails,
Scratching through the layers of skin.
That one is from a kitchen knife,
Wobbly because of lack of light.
The one next to it is from a compass,
Because for a while I fitted in.
That one is from a sharpener blade,
Stolen from school, plastic and innocence left behind.

These are from blades,
Serious now, constant, in plural.
Stuck, taped, wrapped.
Deeper, neater, necessary.
Cyclical, purposeful, multiple.
A collage of fresh, healing, healed.
A permanent feature,
not yet outgrown.

This one might be the last,
Though I’ve said that before.
The blade still sits beside me, but,
For the moment,
For hours that have turned into days,
It’s power has waned.
This one might be the last one,
But I know my greatest enemy better than to be certain.
I wish I knew who was going to win this battle.
It might be the last one.
But I doubt it.



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