Cicatrix – Sunday Mini Challenge – Real Toads

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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

Ash

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

Stigmata

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

Now

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

Often

 


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?

Atonement

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They say that full thickness burns are painless
though the epidermis never truly heals.
Tight scars engulf you –
if you’re lucky, you survive the onslaught.

Me, I look exactly as I was before,
so the immolation must have been minor,
or so others say.
Scratch beneath the surface
and you will reveal the echoes of what was said, or worse –
left unspoken.
The air still hangs heavy between us,
leaden, oily, ready to ignite.

Oh, we had a spark alright
but left uncontrolled
with no firebreak between us
inflagration was inevitable.

To all, to all, but us.

Undercurrents – Trifecta Week 86

Below is my offering for week 86′s challenge word, which is ‘crack’. As you will see from the relevant blog post, the challenge is to write between 33 and 333 words of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or prose, based on the 3rd definition from the Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary.  This week the 3rd definition of ‘crack’ is:

3a : a narrow break : fissure <a crack in the ice>  
b : a narrow opening <leave the door open a crack><cracks between floorboards> —used figuratively in phrases like fall through the cracks to describe one that has been improperly or inadvertently ignored or left out <a player who fell through the cracks in the college draft> <children slipping through the cracks of available youth services>

Here’s my offering below – I hope you like it! Please check here for the other entries!

*****

– Undercurrents –

I didn’t notice it at first – let’s face it, gradual change is insidious. It gets in everywhere, like flood-water rising slowly, subtly towards your house. By the time it appears on your radar, it’s already lifting the floorboards. Then, the damage is already done.

I said: it’s never too late.

That crack, that subtle shift, it was probably there long before. I imagine it appeared in the night, like a member of the French Resistance, leaving its traces, waiting for its presence to be felt at a later date. Who can remember the catalyst now? At the time, everything felt so urgent, so important, so injurious.

Looking back, none of it was worth the fallout that infected us all, that broke us apart, that shattered our hearts.

That crack – it became a fissure. Then before we could try to take back our words, the inch wide gap was suddenly a yawning chasm, vast enough to swallow us, and our vitriol, whole.

None of us had the presence of mind to make the life-saving leap in time. None of us cared enough to risk ourselves.

You said: too much has passed between us.

I’ll take notice of cracks in the future. At least, that’s what I tell myself.

Trifecta