There is a scar on my thigh
that is an inch thick.
Raised knotted ridge at first,
time has smoothed it down
to an off-white sliver,
sharp harsh strike of the years.
I always thought it was childish,
always hoped it was childish
always hoped that I could call it
childish because then
it isn’t serious
just a blip, a fleck of dust
on the screen, a ripple of cloud
in a clean sky
that time will quickly clear.
Except a scratch can be a crack can shatter;
all you need to do is look away.
Away from home it was simpler –
no more abrupt lights flicked on at midnight,
no more mothers demanding to know
what I’m hiding under the covers,
what I have there in my hand,
in my head, on my skin –
no more swimming lessons –
no more stolen sticking plasters –
no more deconstructed pencil sharpeners
hidden in tampon boxes
hidden in sock drawers –
Just me scrubbing the terrifying blood
from my bathroom floor at 4am,