All bear them as badges of life.
Each marks a wound and then a healing.
Like most of life, good growing out of the bad,
producing proud new flesh to cover the inevitable
that we all face––the cut, the gore, the severing.
Life is arranged for some reason to complete
pain with healing, one way or the other.
Proud flesh, proud heart–an excess
in us all that needs smoothing.
First pain and then succor,
a generation dying and
another one growing.
the family or
For the past year, I keep getting these heart-shaped wounds on my arm. I think they are from the dogs jumping up on me or from wounds won trimming the bougainvillea, but it is amazing how many times they are in a heart shape. I’d already written this poem before I decided to try to make a concrete poem out of it. As I progressed, it wanted to be a heart.