Alicante General, 2004

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.
And now,

thirteen summers have passed;
thirteen summers in the smoke
of towns and cities.

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