Not with shame
do I bear my scars
nor with pride
are they worn –
each was earned
on its own field
and I owe them
what I’ve sworn.
Some long faded
still ache at times,
less of the flesh
and more in the soul;
those the deepest
were wrought in the storms
between you and I
and remind me I am old.
Those on the surface
betray the secrets
so carefully hidden
beneath the skin;
they crack and they bleed
and echo the cries
of a thousand nightmares
mirroring my sins.
My scars I’ll keep
to remember me by
as I wither
and my spirit fades;
I wear them with joy
at having lived
and loved,
thankful for the pain.

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