Changing Cues


If I could have

hidden it

I would have


If I could have

forgotten it


made it disappear

like a rabbit

under a magician’s black hat


carved it out of my skin


but the scar directed the play

without my knowing

like a prompter off stage

whispering forgotten lines—


damaged, imperfect, unlovable


and ultimately

the audience responded

on cue


Writing the poem “Miscue” a few years ago helped me realize how my scar had impacted me negatively most of my life. Poetry exposed this hidden belief to my consciousness. I don’t think about my scar this way anymore, or rather I should say that I’ve been working with changing this script over the years. I am the prompter now, whispering lines of self-love.  When I hear the negative messages, I change the words, feeding myself lines of truth, no longer lines that confirm and encourage unworthiness.  I would write a different poem today. Let’s see what comes out:

My scar

a thermometer

reads my degree of self-love that day.

If it looks raw and red – 105° –

a flaring fever.

If it blends in

with creamy skin – 98.6° –

I’m whole, normal, 

the mercury measuring strength,

an ability to survive tough times.

The scar 

a mark

of love’s heat.


How did I do?  Anyone have a title?

0 Responses to Changing Cues

  1. Hi Wendy,

    I just discovered your site. I am one of the club, PS at 6 weeks in 1957. Closure of the incision totally failed and the second attempt at closing was very very messy. All kinds of emotional issues growing up, some from family telling me inappropriate and graphic descriptions of what happened, and the rest from my imagination running wild with the mental images i formed. Fear and PTSD ruled my life for decades.

    I did not speak a word of my terrors for 40 years till i shared it with the women that has since become my wife.


    • Hi Justin,
      I am so glad to hear from you!

      I’m so sorry about what happened to you. When you say that closure failed, do you mean at the time
      of the operation or that the surgeon sent you home only to have you return because the incision wasn’t healing?
      Please feel free to email me if you don’t want to reply through the blog (see About Me for address). Also, is PTSD
      still an issue? It sure is for me as you can see from reading my blog.

      Thank you so much for commenting. I’ve been pretty alone with all this–in my life and even out there in
      cyberspace. Partly it’s because blogging is new to me and I haven’t figured out yet how to connect more widely.
      But the subject is a hard one for folks. I’ve made one wonderful connection with Fred from Australia and we
      are always writing. I’d sure be glad to hear from you about anything more you might like to say about your
      experience, past and present. btw, how did you discover my blog?

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