Here is one from that hand-me-down carving knife,
a fair enough serving for trying to slice the meat so thin,
white outline scar of a child’s mountain sketch
crossing nature’s lines for the length of my thumb.
Here is a keyhole blemish to my neck-stretch,
careful gift from the surgeon’s knife-skill,
bequeathed when I still believed in Father Christmas
and knew nothing of such tubercular terrors.
Here are the pale pocks and the milky-mark leg lesions
from rugged rocks, stud-boot kicks and cycle falls,
and here is that other ‘scalpel please nurse’ tragi-comedy
etched in faint chalky heal-stigma in my scalp.
But the true cicatrice may only be traced, known,
in those secret places where something once grew,
where a green leaf of love promised Spring –
where life ebbed from within, or was wrenched from without.
Ted Eames, 2018