blemishes mark who I am
one inch, left leg
learning to shave

another inch, right hand
diving in a sea of rock
to catch a football

steak knife, right hand
from my sister
because it was my turn to watch tv

large blotch, right hand
a fall from hiking
at the Navs’ HQ in Colorado

quarter of an inch, left index finger
a gash from the drive bay
when building Amber’s computer

round blotch, left arm
smallpox vaccination
to save me from disease

there are other
permanent reminders
I cannot recall

raised skin across my body
some have flashes of memory
others, there is nothingness

I am my scars
the good, the bad
the fondness, the horror

I am my scars
on the inside
on the outside

they are the marks of survival
small and large moments
in a half-century life

remembered or not
cherished or defiled
they are the story of me