Cicatrix – Sunday Mini Challenge – Real Toads


The image of you has softened over time
I see you, prostrate, as if through film star soft-focus
Still, at last, still, forever
and yet if I push myself through that ghost-laden portal
I know that you have taken on a different form
you are transformed into no more than


Dispersed on the winds
I breathe you in
You become part of me in more than the accepted ways, Dad
Your death doesn’t hurt in the way it once did
No longer lacerates, no longer eviscerates


But I am left behind
But I am in sorrow for the missed opportunities
But I am swallowed by regret that I
can never have that conversation
Never explain that I understand you better

Never confess that I judged you too harshly

Never reveal that there is so much more of you in me

than I ever cared to admit or wanted then

Never tell you that I welcome that


But, at least, the knife-edge cicatrix
of the loss of you has faded
I can smile at the thought of you
because I think of you



This was inspired by the prompt found over at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, where we are encouraged to write about something that is both harrowing, and hallowed. A challenging prompt, for sure, but it helps to write about these things, to transfer the ever-whirling thoughts to print, at least for a while.

Why not pop on over to the Real Toads blog, and take a look, take part?

19 thoughts on “Cicatrix – Sunday Mini Challenge – Real Toads

  1. How we absorb the lost and make them our own in a way that we cannot do while they live is a mystery worthy of exploring, indeed–this lifts the devastation of emotion to intellect, yet not in a cold way, but with a deep pulse of the heart, just as we pump that same warm blood to our brain to keep ourselves alive. My pleasure to read.

    1. Thank you so much. It’s taken me a while to express and address the last part to be honest. I would give so much to be able to tell him those things, but at least admitting them to myself is the next best thing.

      1. Yes. I lost mine at the age of 12, I am now 57 and I still miss the opportunities; the moments that could have been but there is the “next best…” Beautiful write!

  2. This poem is breathing from such an honest place. A gift.

    This speaks to me:

    ” there is so much more of you in me
    than I ever cared to admit or wanted then
    Never tell you that I welcome that

    Thank you.

  3. I can very much relate to this! Glad you have arrived at thinking warmly and often.

  4. You nailed the essence of harrowing which becomes hallowed — how many letters I have written to my dead brother, enquiring, entreating, grieving, letting go — letting the dead die with the proper ceremony of funeral letter, written I suppose until what’s within is as pale as the ash that was scattered. The “knife-edge cicatrix” is the harrow, the blunt raw instrument which is like a sword that becomes a plowshare. Amen.

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