29 May 2008

Men With Trivial Scars (rev)



We wear scars from our youth,
trifling things earned reflecting
growing days, of battles raised
and wounds worn in simple praise
of a Spring of early learnings.

When you broke your arm we were
sliding a plank in mad array, shouting
hurrah, daring the day. You wore a cast
enigmatically for weeks, stoically cursing
the itch, belying your tears.

You kept that cast with autographed
names wrapped in plastic for years.
When you sliced off part of your toe it
amazed how a mower could engage toes
in such an antisocial way!

In dread I searched amidst peach-pieces
strewn on the lawn, found the forlorn,
detached toe, brooded over it,
despatched it to hospital with you.
I know it did not return.

Under the same trees in a brutal
assault on fruit too tall to reach
you hurled a fire shovel into the
breach to dislodge a prize;
it fell on my head.

I knew I would die (was practically dead,
the blood never ending), an indignity
lending no courage or pride; the scar
ridge rides tender to fingers which search,
gently linger, remember – and glide on.

And thus we grew strong
in benevolent suns
and munificent stars,
into cautious young men
with trivial scars.
© 18 July 2006, I.D. Carswell