Amid the verdant wood, I noted nature’s scars,
the marks on stem or trunk where once attached was leaf or limb;
the blemish a symptom of loss and a symbol of strength to carry on.

Amid the course of human living, I note our scars,
the marks, say, of an involuntary fall and breaking of bone or tearing of flesh
or the sign of surgery’s curing surety.

Then, too, sadly, are the scars formed from the violence of human will…

the rise and fall of a striking hand or fist…

the misguided, rocketed-launch of spittle-sputtered words of
demonizing rage…

the conscious, vainly-legitimated disregard,
whether individual or communal, circumstantial or institutional,
of common civility
when the nobility of compassion for persons
loses in a falsely-orchestrated war with fidelity to “the law”.

And none, whether perpetrators or victims,
can know the end when the tissue – physical, psychosocial, spiritual – forms…

Will it be a sign of healing
or the mere, drear enfolding of an ever-festering wound;
one that, one day, may…will burst
and, worse, in self-destruction or retaliation
or both?

4 thoughts on “Scars

  1. I read this on my flight back from Louisville! Happy to have landed so I can post as we taxi to the gate!

    Scars…. wow!! When the tissue forms…. what will it be?? Healing or a wound that festers and bursts in self-destruction or retaliation. What a question Paul!! Unfortunately I don’t think we will know for years to come what these scars of the victims of family separation and other inhumane treatment we do to each other in this world will bring forth… I pray it is healing but I truly understand how evil treatment of others could one day result in retaliation!!! We’ve seen it in active shooters, workplace violence, and self-mutilation and suicides.

    Every day I look at the many scars of my body from my double-digit number of surgeries. But when I look at them I think of all of the nurses and doctors who worked tirelessly for more than a decade to heal me. I wouldn’t be here today and be able to care for my Mom were it not for them. We have discussed many times how Alzheimer’s and caregiving is my calling and without my surgical scars I wouldn’t be able to carry it out.

    Whenever I get down or feel low I remember that I’m here for a reason and I pick myself back up, scars and all to “carry on” as you always tell me! I hope that when folks who have scars from whatever abuse they have suffered can find a way to pick themselves up and move ahead and realize their calling and purpose in life in spite of what they endured. This is my prayer for all of them with scars I can’t even begin to imagine.

    Much love!!


  2. Loretta, Loretta, Loretta, Lord knows that I knew and know that you could identify with scars. You, among and above all folk I know who have faced and come through hardships, are one who has embraced her history of strife and survival and has employed it all as a catalyst to help define your destiny; in one of its/your many dimensions, as a caregiver, foremost, for your mother and for all whose lives you touch and teach.

    With love and respect and admiration,


    1. I was scared to read this at first cause I didn’t want to cry on the plane!! Hopefully I can get off this plane soon and get home!! I’ll continue to ponder this post on the drive home!! Thanks so much for your kind words, as I still remember that struggle to live like it was yesterday!!

      Much love and admiration for you too!!


      1. Lord knows – and I know – Loretta, that I didn’t mean to stir up sorrowful memories; memories that, doubtless, as you daily survey the work of surgeons long past, remains with you…on you. Nevertheless, my sentiments are sure and true. You are remarkable in your God-breathed resilience and your ongoing labor to bring to light for others the luminescence that you have seen and known through the shadows of your struggles. Continued blessings I pray for you as you carry on!


        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close