The Work of a Carpenter

Wounded Tree

You bear scars where life carved lessons into flesh,

but gaping wounds testify to your strength,

not your weakness.

They call you Victor,

not Victim;


not Overcome.

For deeper still than chiselled fate

are the  grooves whittled into

outstretched palms,

naming you one of the Chosen –

the work of  a



I don’t even remember who carved what first –

I just know the rawness of slices on skin;

Not realizing that I needn’t accept the curse,

I assimilated the marks until they grew within.

Each signature pooled in surrounding wound

Like rain as it seeks ever the lowest ground;

Each epithet sang with a gruesome tune

As poison-pen arrows their resting-place found.

My eyes grew dim with perennial tears

And cataracts formed to constrict my view;

The graffiti embodied my nightmared fears

As I learned to adopt them as being my due.

But You had already in compassion deep

Carved out Your mark over all the rest;

You saw the beauty the curse made to sleep,

And Cross covered scars that criss-crossed my chest.

Your wounds smothered mine, in sympathy true,

Love conquered lines that had lied to my face;

Now when I look at my scars, I see You

Whose body was scarred as You died in my place.