Thursday, September 6, 2012


I don’t remember much about that day,
Just broken movie clips haunting my mind,
The orange glow of the flames in the back seat,
My tumble out the door onto the pavement,
The two women with the kind eyes
Holding me on the tiled counter
Next to the sink pouring water
Over my charred skin.

But the scars, those have stayed with me.
As a child they were all I could see
Looking in my broken mirror,
The grotesque bubbling of my skin
From my chubby fingers
up my arm to my shoulder,
So sure that everyone else saw
The hideous beast lurking
In my mirror just as I did.

Scars, at least the visible kind,
Fade with the passing of time,
And today no one even notices
If they do not already know they are there.

It’s the invisible scars
From voluntary fires
That still persist.

~~~ This poem was written in response to a prompt from Poetry Jam asking us to think about a personal challenge we have faced.  I’m also linking this up over at Poetic Asides for the prompt about memory.

~~~ Note:  The image I used with this poem actually started out as one of my senior pictures, with much editing added.


Mary said...

Yes, those invisible scars are often the ones that are the most difficult to deal with....I definitely hear you on this! Strong poem here!

(Glad your internet is back working again!)

Brian Miller said...

oy its hard....esp as a kid we are so self conscious...and it goes into adulthood...the things that make us feel different...being in a fire would be rather traumatizing as well...and even if others dont see them, we feel they do...brave write mary...

Peggy said...

Wow Mary, that must have been so painful and those internal scars remain. It is hard to feel different when you are a kid. Hugs and thanks for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

WE have traumatizing events in our lives and often a fire is the worst. I agree though...invisible scars left by those fires are hard to cope with.
Beautifully written

Helen said...

You managed to take a horrifying event and turn it into meaningful poetry ... beautifully done.

my heart's love songs said...

i think fear of fire is carried in our dna ~ i'm so glad you survived, even though it created the difficulties it did for you growing up.

thank you for sharing.