Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Earlier this semester I read a blog about a little boy with burns that reminded me of my own burn story. The resonance hit me hard and after two days of dwelling finally I decided to take my own classic advice and "write about it."  I've written about it a million times before, but it was time to do it again and a little differently.

On the first day of my Human Biology class the professor said, "This is the non-science majors class.  I realize all of you are only here because you have to be.  You're not science people and that's ok, but for me to remember that I'm going to think of you all as my father.  My father was a poet.  In my brain, you are all poets."

I remember thinking to myself, I'm not a poet, but I am closer to a poet than a scientist. 

I'm still not a poet, but I wrote a poem explaining why I once told Andy I'm allergic to fire.

<>< Katie

She ran her fingers over
discolored imperfections on her forearms
before pulling down her sleeves to hide
the scars of a clumsy childhood.

She didn’t remember
tripping over the pesky shoelace,
the metal safety rim bruising her leg.
But all too well she remembered
failing to choke back the tears
as smoldering coals gripped her forearms,

the firm grasp on the back of her shirt,
her rescuer, her mother,
dragging her to the a perfectly-placed water pump,
as if it had been awaiting her misfortune.

She remembered the
pain as her skin burned,
embarrassment of her own misstep,
fear and unknown in the Emergency Room
the doctor poking incessantly asking if she felt it.
Yes. It hurt.

She remembered the rules
no pool, no sun.
A bird was told not to fly.
She tried to argue but
her voice had vanished,
the verdict not negotiable.

She remembered
summer lasting an eternity
bandages over both arms,
trying in vain to dry one hand,
always refusing to explain why.

Years later the bandages are gone,
but the scars remain like
she tanned while wearing fishnets,
even if only for her to see
and still she avoids explaining.


StorytellERdoc said...

Beautiful Katie...thank you for sharing such a powerful story...

Anonymous said...

Wow. Good poem. I have to write 4 poems for my creative writing class, and I was worried. I hope I can write like that. :) And can't wait to see you, friend! :)