Our scars

This week’s assignment from The Red Dress Club was to write a short piece, either fiction or non-fiction, about something ugly – and find the beauty in it.

Sometimes I rhyme things, and apparently this is one of those times.


In rare times of frustration and brief self-despair,

She claims she is broken and beyond repair.

From surgeries more numerous than fingers to count,

She has her scars on the inside and out.

A neck and a spinal cord basically fused,

Excuses to dwell on this always refused.

Body casts, braces were part of her life,

Part of her role as a mother and wife.

For me I thought surgery was part of the norm,

Something all moms did in one shape or form.

Hiding her scars on the inside and out,

With clothes that concealed and no signs of self-doubt.

In fact, she was always the fun one to see,

The mom on the block you wish your mom could be.

Baseball in summer and raking in fall,

Snowmen in winter and trips to the mall.

Even if she couldn’t do it herself,

(Limited as she was in her own health,)

She made sure all the kids had more fun than they should,

Doing the things that she wished that she could.

I never quite realized the struggles she had,

Physically, mentally, feeling so bad.

As time has gone by I see more of her pain,

Taking it on as my own, yet in vain.

She thinks they are ugly, these scars that she wears,

Constant reminders of what she must bear.

A physical flaw isn’t what comes to mind,

When I see her scars or a mark of that kind.

The scars tell a story of one woman’s life,

As a mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife.

It’s flawed and not perfect, with times of self-doubt,

But beautiful still, on the inside and out.

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22 responses to “Our scars

  1. You are extraordinarily talented Abby. This is beautiful, raw, and haunting. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. This was really good! Your…. mom(?) should be proud!

    • Yup, it’s my mom 😉 I was kind of hesitant to post it because it’s a bit different than my normal crap, but thank you for the compliment. The next post will most likely be full of snark and offend someone somewhere. For now, it’s this 🙂

  3. The scars tell a story of one woman’s life,

    As a mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife.

    Yes they do.

  4. This is interesting! I haven’t seen poetry before on a TRDC prompt. Well done. (I am usually hesitant to comment on poetry and am far from able to critique…)

    • It wasn’t a poetry prompt specifically, but I just kind of went that way and an hour later, it was done 😉 Thanks for stopping by, as now I can check out your blog as well.

  5. I loved the fact that you used prose and rhyme,
    To get out the thoughts that were on your mind.

    Your piece is a reflection of beauty that’s true.
    A lesson for all of us, told by beautiful YOU.

  6. Hi! Visiting from TRDC. I LOVED that you wrote this in verse and managed to rhyme the entire thing! I saw a book at Borders the other day that was an entire novel written in verse and I was inspired to try it sometime. I’m glad someone paved that way, and successfully I might add. And in such a touching way too. Great job!

  7. This was great. It is amazing how we don’t realize what our mother’s deal until we’re older and try as might we really can’t absorb their suffering.
    Thanks for sharing it, you shouldn’t be afraid to post anything from your heart!
    Visiting from TRDC

  8. I’m always amazed by people who can write poetry. The ability to describe a situation, emotion or person in rythm is beyond my ken. I loved this post. What it said, how it read and how it stuck in my head.

    (See? I’m not too good with poetry.)

    Visiting from TRDC

  9. Wow, you are so talented!!

  10. I read this earlier and I really was stumped at what to say. I usually don’t comment when I’m literally speechless. So I just wanted to let you know that I read it and I love you. It sounds like it could have been written about my mom…yea i totally teared up reading this.
    I’m a pussy.

  11. Kath (My Funny Little Life)

    What a wonderful poem, Abby! So sad, touching, and hopeful at the same time! You really are very talented with words!

  12. I had no idea that your mom had health issues, Abby. Hugs to her. NOt an easy life. My mom dealt with tons of adversity through her last 20 yrs of life. In fact I remember saying to a friend about 2 yrs ago that I don’t know what it’s like to have a parent that isn’t gravely ill or debilitated. I had totally forgotten what that was like. Hugs to you and mom. (and of course Gma- I don’t want her to kick my ass)

  13. Holy, wow.
    I was just lead to this post by your post today and I am so moved…which is ironic to say because when I am moved I am sitting here on my couch just dumbfounded and not moving at all.
    I recently wrote about scars because I read the book “Little Bee” and then I wrote about my mom who, too, has had more than her fair share.
    This write here:
    Excuses to dwell on this always refused.
    Resonates with me. Mt mother, like yours, powered on and showed up for me too despite that me, like you, “hought surgery was part of the norm”

    Our mom’s are amazing and it is frustrating to recognize how hard it is to convey our appreciation. I hope she read this.

    • Thank you for sharing and for leaving such a thoughtful comment. I’m sorry your mom has also been dealt a difficult hand, but it sounds like she has also been a shining example of strength and inspiration. My mom read this the first time I posted it 😉

  14. Gorgeous. absolutely gorgeous.

    I predict 30 is going to be a break-out year for you (insert some sports metaphor here). You are simply too talented. This blog cannot contain you.

  15. The smile, the eyes, the motions, the expressions, the laughs, the wrinkles, they’re all the outline. The scars are the story.

    This was amazing. I should have read it before. This was deep and provocative. Good job.

  16. And I cry. That was beautiful, Abby. I’m so pleased you shared it.
    If my daughter wrote this? I’d cry even more.

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