I see you,
even though
the broken pieces of my heart
won’t let me look into your blue eyes again

I promise you
I see you
You, who are a slayer of dragons
You, who has seen the sky fall
You, who has spoken with the things
that only whisper to me in the distance
You, who has been to the edge and looked over
You, who has died thousands of times
You, who has been to the underworld and returned
You, who needs neither shield nor armor
You, who stands here today, unabashed, in daylight and full view

What do I know of valor?
What do I know of strength?
What do I know of courage?

*this poem was inspired by someone I interacted with Monday. It has taken me almost a full week to process what I saw and for my heart to say something about it.

I went to a store to buy supplies for my job. The young woman behind the counter checking me out nodded and smiled one of those tight-lipped smiles.

I said, “Good morning.” and put my items on the counter.

When she reached into my field of view, I noticed something.

Her arms were covered in self-harm scars. Literally the entire surface from elbow to her wrists on both arms were covered top and bottom, all sides.

My heart plummeted.  And I found that, try as I desperately wanted to, I could not look back up into her face. But I kept watching her arms as she worked.

I knew if I made eye contact with her again, my heart was going to make itself shown on my face. And I didn’t want to make her uncomfortable.  It would be enough that I looked to be the socially awkward person here…and I was..so it wasn’t even like pretending.

I went about my day and I could not stop thinking about it. I still haven’t stopped.  There was so much I wanted to say about it. But I didn’t know how to voice it. My muse kept telling me I had to write about it…and I kept saying, “How can I do that? I don’t know the first thing about this…”

But today I managed to put something of it together and I hope I did right by her.

I am assuming A LOT by what I saw. I realize that. I could be completely wrong. Nothing would make he happier to find out I was wrong.

I want to be clear that I do not feel sorry for her, this is not pity. I was sad but not about her actions.  I was sad that I couldn’t do anything about it.

But I also keep trying to make myself understand that the fact she was out in the open and bearing her scars the way she did….maybe that means that she has found a way out. and I hope that is true. I truly do.


About Eric

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31 Responses to Wounded…

  1. I LOVE your take on this. Outstanding and beautiful!! As I was reading, I could feel the sense of battles that this person had won. Just an exceptional piece!

  2. Pingback: Wounded… — My Sword and Shield…. | Penny Wilson Writes

  3. Kristiana says:

    Eric, I think you have done a beautiful job here, paying homage to a survivor. Even if you don’t know her full story – she survived and in that you saw pain, beauty and raw strength. You’ve captured that and in doing so touched the lives of many others. Bravo 💛

  4. Diana says:

    As I was reading this my chest aches Eric. Your writing and your empathic nature are truly something 💜💜

  5. Silent Hour says:

    Thank you for sharing this story and your feelings. Beautiful poem!

  6. blindzanygirl says:

    It is goid to know that your reaction was from the heart, and a warm one at that. You saw beneath the surface. Brilliant

  7. Lee Dunn says:

    What you’ve written here parallels a chance meeting I had two nights ago. We were out celebrating a friend’s birthday. There was a girl serving whom I had not seen before. Things about her made me feel she had suffered abuse, whether self inflicted or otherwise I do not know. I felt she was putting on a brave face and trying desperately to do her job. We made eye contact, and I could sense her awkwardness. Later, the owner asked me how I thought she was doing. I said she would do fine and to give her a chance. I will elaborate with a post about it soon, but wanted to say that your feelings were akin to my own.

  8. balroop2013 says:

    This poem speaks volumes about you too Eric…To feel somebody’s pain so deeply and write about it requires a compassionate heart! Thanks for sharing a profound piece, couldn’t leave without sharing my thoughts.

  9. Hi there! Your poem is heartfelt, touching, and beautiful. Thank you for sharing! ~Kelsey

  10. This is really beautiful way to process your feelings. I hope if she is self harming, she gets the help she needs.

  11. You make us girls go weak at the knees with this, your gorgeous tendering of female power

  12. Eric. My friend. This is a beautiful piece—both the poem and the inspiration. ❤️ I understand your need to write about it. (I hope that for her, too.)

  13. This blows me away it’s so beautiful and deeply moving. ♥️

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