(An International Journal of Poetry)
Volume-1 June-2011 Number-1
by William John Watkins
First wounds go deepest
clear to the heart and that
thrill of mortality,
"God! I will not survive this,",
this Other,whose death
means more to me than mine!"
but even first wounds close,
and open, over time.
At first the bleeding is profuse,
the pumping of the heart is clearly seen,
life spurts and squirts
wetting everything within reach
before the dozen natural forces that congeal
blood into clot, scab, scar
begin their unseen irresistible work.
Sometimes, the wound's so wide
the flow so copious and continuous,
it dies of its own exuberance
before anything can be done to stabilize it.
Others knit and seem to heal,
mature toward scar and even skin again
until trauma breaks them open one time more.
Always when it does, there is the hesitation,
the numbness that creeps slowly into pain
and the first weeping drops before the flow again,
sometimes with the first wound's thrill,
but never with the first's velocity.
Those that have gone all the way to scar a dozen times
split easiest from the unexpected blow,
bleed least, close quickest, do not turn
gangrenous, necrotic, terminal.
The broken open scar lasts longer,
means more than the superficial heal,
the surface close that leaves
cancerous pockets that open only to the grave.
Crosshatched with scars, we find
even wounds have their life cycles
and the years reveal
for all its pain, the wound,
better than no wound at all.