I wrote this poem about the time I had a crater in my leg and was required to have stitches (in Spain).
When we’re children we often think we’re invincible. I thought I was Spider-Man. In one moment I was climbing fences, and in the next I was on an operating table having the two sides of the crater sewn together like I was Frankenstein’s monster. I have the scar to prove it.
This is a memory poem and every time I look at the scar on my left shin, it’s a reminder of that childhood innocence and how we should all respect our own mortality, even as children when we think we can do anything.
The only things I brought home from Spain
were six stitches and a
sewn shin like a Cornish pasty.
I was younger than noon,
on the operating table.
My stomach was a pendulum.
When I see needle and thread,
I remember the torture chamber
and the man in white.
Last summer, I saw a hospital –
not the hospital but my knees gonged
like church bells all the same.
I still have the reminder,
shin like patched clothing.
thirteen summers have passed;
thirteen summers in the smoke
of towns and cities.