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Scar Tissue

by Emily Benson


I try to imagine/try not to imagine

My mother’s flesh parted under white light

The noise the substitution must make

And what becomes of the old bone?

The fused connection born of my grandmother

Who long ago gave up the heels she used to dance in

She envied how they looked on me

And I think of that as my own joints ache

My knee giving way suddenly on the stair

She sleeps now more often than not

The pond outside her hospice window

Unseen in snow and sun and flutter of leaves...

Is there a shine on the new parts?

Inside, where no light should again penetrate

Or does it rest dully within the web

Of blood vessels and connective tissue

Growing ‘round it like a tree

Cradles farm implements left in the field

An oak lifting a chassis above the loam

My fingers probe my own scars

Seam where life from life from life emerged

While my mother heals and Nana dreams

Of the tart taste of lemons and

Of dancing dresses her mother made

And did she ever prick a finger while she sewed?

Blood staining each generation in turn

The little tears in the fabric stitched closed

But leaving a mark to remember the wound

Emily Benson writes poems of love and longing, family and nature. She lives in Western New York with her husband, two sons, and two cats.

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November 2019

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