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Friday, March 8, 2024

The Scars

The Scars

As an old man I have
Memories of life and adventure
In this new age of instant visions
I've seen a photo
Of a naked twenty-something
Peter Hujar running
In his photo from the Met
An unprompted artist
Like me
His beautiful body should not
Be my desire
Because I know the truth
With a capital T

As age, isolation, and failing health
Can't entice any friendship
Such a sudden image delivery
Only reminds me of the travails
Of my youth witnessed by the scars
Both outside my empained frame
And the ones unseen
That I carry to remind me
How I must live now without
A careless walk through 
Mental jungles and those dangerous
Smooth lawns throwing and hitting
The balls of game and competition

Surely an old man could love
Though an older man 
With his own scars of battle
Would be more appropriate
As I review my own marks
Upon my aching physique
And a soul whose thunder
Is rolling away hectare by hectare
In remembrance of storms
No longer sending me
To seek the shelter of known
And unknown gods and spirits

A young man will find his own
Many years in the future
If he's careful to value every gift
I will continue the last crawl
Only searching for a worthy end

Another image comes to mind
I think how lucky Whitman was
To have the help of Bill Duckett
Who posed for Thomas Eakins
In the same natural clothes
I have seen today
Old Walt was closer to a dream
Than I will ever be

I only have to sit granite still
As memory's attack begins
All the marks are gently reviewed
I am their victim and joyful subject
Filled with life that continues
To massage my scars
From a cloudy sky
To a bright blue morning

Barry G. Wick

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