Walking Wounded

By Mary Havran

Somewhere, sometime, you were Wounded
Maybe as early as infancy when you were denied
All the essentials of the bonding experience
Perhaps the wounds were inflicted
When another toddler refused to return the toy you readily shared
Or by the mean girl who broke your favorite colored crayon
Or the bully who pushed you on the playground
Or perhaps it happened that first time
Someone more sophisticated, though lacking empathy,
Assailed your ears with a course laughter,
Aimed at you like a lethal weapon
Contrasting the cheerful chorus of joy laughter had always been
Maybe it happened the day you ran home crying
Mother revealed a secret: “Not everyone you meet will like you”
Unwelcome words that wounded and wound their way
Like strangling ivy around your core
Taking root in your heart of hearts
Passing years provide a scale of scar
Yet you are Wounded still

Somewhere, sometime, your Innocence was lost
Maybe it happened when your missing bicycle
Was spotted in the driveway on the next block
Or the day that special pebble found on the playground
Mysteriously vanished from your backpack
Maybe it was the first time you witnessed another’s tears
And yet perceived no evidence of physical injury
Perhaps it was the initial instance when you caught someone in a lie
Betrayal became a biting sting instead of just a word
Maybe it was on the day the friendly neighbor invited you in for a visit
Closed the door, pulled down the shades
And the most sacred shelter of innocence was shattered
At the unworthy hands of one of life’s lowest thieves
You learned another bitter truth
The knowledge of good and evil force-fed like bitter fruit
Time having done all it can to repair or bury
Yet Innocence is lost still

Whatever time, whatever place, or in whatever manner
Those who contributed to your loss of Innocence
Or at whose hands you were first Wounded
Do not hold the power to heal you
And they never will.
Even should they acknowledge and repent
You would still be walking through life wounded
Your initial Innocence still lost
Only you can sooth the hurts,
Bind the wounds, reclaim your rightful share of Innocence

Only Your Indomitable Spirit Can Prevail

Yours the choice to reject surrender and to overcome
You, accepting the role of Hero of your own life,
Who, in casting off from the past,
Becomes the Captain of all future voyages
Becoming one with the rest of us
We, the “Walking Wounded”

This Poem Features In: