October Feature: “Scars. Plural.” by Liz Lane




A mark left on something

Following damage of some kind

You could walk up to me

Ask to see my arms

But those scars that you won’t see

Are branded on my heart

I see them when I close my eyes

Clenched so tight

Hoping the pressure will make forgiveness come

Like diamonds emerge from coal

These scars are the anxieties I feel when voice volume rises

And feet shuffle too fast




The dirt that healed into the wounds I gained

The pictures that flash in my head at the speed of light

And I know the problem is with me

So many things done wrong

Words that I could never unsay

No matter how hard I try

The razor that cut my skin

To give my shame its application

Because I didn’t know how to react

When the screaming began

As the pressure I’d built up

Became the very poison that I sipped from

Because silence was my solution

For the words that I’d said wrong

I know that when I spoke

My words would pierce like a knife

For I was small

But my words could bring much destruction

And no one knew that the abuse

Was secretly killing me

As slow suffocation

Who could know that my smile was there

To hide the weight of rejection I carried

From the threshold of my home

Like a boulder waiting to crush me

As soon as I lost the strength to carry on

Forgiveness is stronger

Though this is what it wages war upon

And I fear that the grace I give

Won’t be stronger than these wounds in my soul

So as you speak to me

I snap back

Because your voice is the one

That made me feel worthless

I pinned you as the source of my hopelessness

And no matter how strong I feel

These memories bring me to my knees

These scars

This movie that torments me over and over

But silently

Without even me knowing

And now

I know that I’m the problem

I don’t know how to hold my head high

And you tell me I’m hard to love

When all the screaming and all the rage

Was to let you know that you’re killing me inside

I’m out of advice

I am a dry levy

I’m trying to find my way

Like a child lost in a dark wood

And all of my insufficiencies mock my pain

Reminding me that I’ll never be perfect

And you can’t see the tears I’ve wept

Begging to know how to grant the thing I deny even myself


The word that hits my heart

Like a battering ram colliding with a well built gate

I know that it can break through

And I travail in hope that it will

But these scars

Can be denied of their existence

Yet they run deep

Wholly invisible

Still as real to me as the Appalachians that were once my home

You may say that I am hard to love

And I cry because you can’t see my heart

Fill with a story of its own

One that you refuse to believe

Still I pray that someday you will yield to the knowledge

That I maybe I’m wrong

But so are you

And my deepest desire remains

To take this heart I’ve been given

Scars and all

And these memories all too real

To a hilltop called grace

Allowing the threshing to take place

And after the chaff has blown away

Forgiveness will flow like a river so mighty

That it overtakes you and all who I meet

As for now I show Jesus my scars

Begging Him to change my heart

Knowing that I’ll soon be free