Small lines on her knuckles

From sharp wooden siding

On exterior garage walls

Learning to ride her bike

In ever widening circles


Amoeba-like masses on her knees

Going over the handlebars

Attempting to avoid head-on collision

With another biker

Riding like the wind

Her mother

Picked embedded stones and gravel

Slowly, painstakingly

Out of wounds

Tears rolled down her face


Half-moon on her right wrist

Middle school shop class

Claw end of a hammer

Inexpertly trying

To remove nail from board

Coming perilously close

To an artery, making her queasy


Multiple puncture wounds

And teeth marks

Inside of her wrist from

Frightened cat stuck

Under a piece of furniture

Valuable lesson learned


Thin bumpy necklace

Partial thyroidectomy

She started making up

Colorful stories about it

When ignorant young women

Pointed, whispered

In subway stations

Her favorite: a knife fight


Two C-section scars

Intersecting, twisted vines

Remarkably short in length

Given the 8 then 9 ½ pound

Babies pulled forcefully

Through these small openings


Emergency surgery

After her blood pressure

Started to crash

She hadn’t known

That one could get from

Delivery room

To operating room

To having your body surgically

Unzipped in less than ten minutes

The second c-section


After 36 hours of painful labor

Vomiting in her hair

Kind anesthesiologist

Cleaning it up with a towel

Doctor was late

The aesthesia wore off

Before they finished stitching her up

These still itched, ached

Some days

Reminders that she owed her life

Lives of her children

To modern medicine


Day after election (11/9/2016)

3 Hours of sleep

Exhausted, incredulous

Hazy encounter with wicked curved blade

Of a bread knife

Waited 12 hours to go to the ER

Too late to suture

Irrigation a bitch


Other scars

On her heart

On her soul

Some thin

Healed relatively quickly

Some thick, corded

So deep they

Altered topography

Puckering, pulling

Edges out of their original shape

On a permanent basis


Some inflicted by others

When she was

Young , helpless

She still found it hard

Looking at photos at that age

Seeing how young she was

Acknowledging vulnerability


Some formed as a teenager

Then as a young woman

Romantic relationships

That stung, burned

Etching with acid

Unrequited loves

Knowing she should walk away

Staying, accepting lash of the whip

Enthralled, as if by a snake charmer


Some of these scars


In long dark nights of the soul

These were the ones

She would sometimes

Still worry, make raw

Like a dog with a sore

On its paw


  1. this was like every woman’s story you give such tribute to our bruised bodies but strong spirit – reminded me of the song Scars to your Beautiful by Alessia Cara, this – your words is like a song to my ears.

    Liked by 1 person

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