Poetry Wednesday – Scars

This scar, on my elbow,
I got when I was eleven.
I was playing Dizzy Izzy at camp,
   stumbled and opened my arm
   when I hit the dirt.

This scar, on my shoulder,
I got when I was nineteen.
I was teasing my cat,
   went a little too far,
   my shoulder was caught between his claws
   and his escape.

This one, my episiotomy scar,
I got when I was twenty-one.
My body was cheating the baby
   of her means of escape,
So the doctor sliced a wider opening for her.

This scar, the first time my heart broke,
I was twelve.
I met this boy at camp.
He was cute and smart and funny
   and his name was George.
I got his address and promised to write.
I put the paper in my pocket.
My mom did the laundry.

This scar, the next time my heart broke,
I was sixteen.
I was walking to the record store with my friend Dave.
We took the route inside the bridge,
   and as we came over the second last arch
   he helped me down and
   we looked into each others' eyes.
I didn't kiss him.

This scar, now just one of many heart breaks,
I was thirty-four.
I had moved my family across the continent to another country
   for a job I loved.
And, my daughter began to shrink.
No longer happy and bright,
   she grew dark and small until
   there was almost nothing left.
I brought her home.

And, I have scars more invisible than heartbreak.

At eighteen I went off to Africa because
   I had already been to Europe and
   I knew it all and
   this would look good on me.
I came home seven months early
   a broken failure.

At twenty my boyfriend led me to believe that I was
He was the only one who would ever love me.
He was the only one who would ever love me
   as long as I did what
   I was told.

Now I am looking for new scars.
Scars that come from fun, rough sex.
Scars that come from learning from mistakes.
Scars that come from loving and
   losing well.

My heart torn and stitched.
My body broken and healed.
My psyche shattered and fused.
These are not my battle scars,
They are my medals.