The Muse

(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

unsuspected abscesses,

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,

however battered,

better than no wound at all.