I wrote this poem in 2021; six years after my cheerleading injury, three spinal surgeries later. I wrote this to honor the 21 year-old girl who was devastated by her scars.
After my first surgery, I felt marred and mangled. I’d obsess over the “train track” scars developing along my incision caused by crude staples. I didn’t think I valued having an untouched or beautiful back (whatever that means) until it became a scene from a horror film. Then I mourned and became self-conscious.
Upon becoming re-injured a few months later, surgery became urgently necessary (again). My life was consumed by opioids and pain, so I had no energy left to worry about little things like aesthetic. I am now eight years and four surgeries out from my original injury, and my relationship with my scars has seen many iterations. It’s a work in progress and small things like this poem (and photoshoot) help me to heal that relationship.
Image description: A close-up shot of a woman’s back. She has a surgery scar on her lower spinal region and a lotus tattoo above it. There is rain dripping down her back. The poem reads:
“i wanted my scar to heal uniformly.
but nature has her own designs,
her own plans.
i want to walk without help
and for days on end.
i know i can get there.
(and if i do not
that is alright too.)
change moves us.
there is beauty throughout.
thank you for reading ❤