A family can survive major pruning.
The loss of parent, grandparent, child.
However, a family tree can’t survive
without its bark.
The stripping away of my childhood’s outer layer.
The intentional toughing up routines backfired,
thinning the skin until raw and every word or touch
burned like a bare light socket
sunk into my exposed muscle and sinew.
Skinned alive, exposed,
I split into parts like granny’s long lost quilt.
I’ve made patches out of pieces I stole
from lunch school friends, neighbors,
movies, cartoons, strangers, mothers & fathers,
when I look in the mirror
a Frankenstein staring back