Fear Memory

written in April 2009, at a BIPP workshop, given the word “scar” as a prompt

 

Long after childhood
when in his twenties
His temples crept rather quickly
back towards his crown

 

Showing shined skin
So he shaved it all
Yul Brynner style
Long before it was fashionable.

 

Vanity, so that
the few more hairs
each morning in the comb,
the steady drip of time, would not show.

 

His head bent to the guitar.
He forgot, or did not know
His mother saw the scar
Laid bare by shaver.

 

A quarter inch
by two inch long white mark.
Blood remembered.
Different strings were plucked.

 

No guitar had strummed the night
his mother watched the pain
and cried and watched again.
A wounded child.

 

Watch and wake, watch and fear
concussion, damage,
Dark angels taking him away.
The blood wiped clean but not the fear.

 

Its hard to sew a toddler’s scalp
with neatness. The scar is left.
Now, like fear, will always be.
All mothers fear some memory.

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