Old Wounds

At some stage, lovers share their scars.

They point, carefully,
at the old wounds
explaining the nature and origin:

here, the bicycle crash
when I was twelve,
there, your arm was burned.
This one, playing with my brothers
and that, was just some
surgery. They are visible vestiges

not only of events
but also who
we have been in our lives.

There, the motorcycle accident
because pain and anger tried to
defy reason.
Here, the cut
when loneliness prevailed;
That one, impatience. This one,

And the injuries that 
do not show? Old hurts that
made deep 
impressions, fears sliced
into our bellies,
and sadness in our heart 
that was poorly
 stitched and left an angry mark?

What of these unseen scars
in the grain of our souls?

We show and tell
in a ritual of comparisons
as if to 
ask, “See here, I am marked.
Can you still love me?”

As if to say,
“I have been wounded
enough, now
let us be gentle.”

©martha lee phelps