Poem: Wounds Have Memory

Wounds Have Memory

Snow falls. A light snow.
The kind that falls all day and amounts to almost nothing,
Scenery snow. The stuff of movies and post cards.
Bucholic. Hiding
the seething underneath, the pain and manure,
that is deftly covered up,
every affliction known to man right there,
made invisible by slight of hand and a good veneer,
a good barn to take the broken things
and get them out of sight, complicit
in the masquerade.

You drive past. The truth is you like the post card
and you want to believe in it. Want to believe
the scenery, but you have lived under that veneer yourself.
It is hard to ignore what you have lived.
Easier to live at a distance. Paying attention
to the press and pretending as the snow falls, just so.

The problem is, wounds have memory.
They heal, all of them, but they never forget,
and you are left tender in all the places the snow falls.

About this poem

I have spent a lot of time this week watching people struggle through wounds, physical and emotional. You’d never know it.

We have had a light snow every day for the past few days. Nothing overwhelming, just enough to make the scenery fresh each day. It’s lovely. The picture was taken not far from my home.

This was not the poem I started to write. Lately, it never is.


One comment

  1. It is a postcard picture, Tom. I like it; also, the “sailboats on slate” from a couple days ago – haunting. Often it’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words, yet both pictures were enhanced by your words.


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