We carry the weight of our worries,
often unhurried in our healing,
curiously choosing rather to linger
in the shadows of those things
that have marred us.
We polish scars as if they were medals—
awards given pre-posthumously
in honor of valiant pain
and self-conscious sacrifice.
We measure conversations
in terms of appreciation expressed
for what we have endured,
hoping to find some Thomas
who will welcome the invitation
to thrust his hand into our side
and feel the extent of our love.
We omit the part of our own resurrection,
choosing a cheaper affection
that never quite feels like admiration.
Some can walk this trail for years,
wearing a deep path to the place of their own tears,
never understanding that all the collected agony
of stuffed toys, teenage trophies
and carefully arranged snapshots in gilded frames
are not so much monument to the memory of others
as they are shrine to our own pain.