by William Stafford
They tell how it was, and how time
came along, and how it happened
again and again. They tell
the slant life takes when it turns
and slashes your face as a friend.
Any wound is real. In church
a woman lets the sun find
her cheek, and we see the lesson:
there are years in that book;
there are sorrows
a choir can’t reach when they sing.
Rows of children lift their faces of promise,
places where the scars will be.
The first time I held a baby of my own, I thought about scars.
First, I fell in love, and I cried, and asked for juice, and stared into his gorgeous little eyes. My husband called his hands bear paws, and I watched him hover over that little boy like a Papa Bear.
But then they came to prick his chubby little feet, and my baby wailed in anger and I cried in fear. And when everyone left the room, I wrote him a letter from my hospital bed.
I’m so afraid the world will hurt you.
I’m not sure that’s what most new Mamas are thinking, but I’ve never been the norm.
I know where it came from. When I carried him inside of me, he was safe and warm, and nobody could hurt him, or so I believed. But everything changes on the other side.
That, and I remember what it is to grow up in this world. I wonder if it’s even harder nearly 3 decades later.
I endured my own slashing, grew my own scars, and the wounds are real. For most of us, the sorrows accumulate as do the years.
There are some things no song can ever resolve, and some pains are inconsolable. Everybody has their own scars.
As a Mom, I worked hard to become like a human shield. I’d go great lengths to protect my little people. But the limits of my humanity were quickly evident.
Their lives have been my greatest teachers. From the beginning, they’ve taught me to trust the God of the Universe with all that’s most precious. I’m a slow learner, but I press on.
I never found a way to keep them from scars.
Write about a slant your life once took, when it turned.