I look at the scars that healed
on my legs and feet,
extremities that will one day
take the brunt of lectures from a podiatrist.
What abuse story will best explain their condition?
During elementary school recess,
lunch ladies used to like watching me
outrun boys in a jumper dress, knee socks
and navy blue ribbons at the end of my pigtails.
When I was pushed from behind in second grade,
I was sent skidding on gritty concrete
until it tore off all the top
layer of skin on my knees. And when mamma
saw me in the front office
with band-aids and a zip-loc bag of ice,
all she told me was “You really need to be a lady.”
They also remember the warning: “You know, if you
get hurt, we can’t afford to take you
to the hospital!” This was after I twisted
my ankle on a friend’s trampoline when I was nine
and mamma didn’t even have to ask why
I limped between hiccuped sobs because, “I knew it.”
I still get spasms in my right foot
whenever it’s cold, or when I flashback
to the blackout pain (right now, for instance).
Note: More to follow (once it allows me to). This poem is going to get long.