Scars of a Poetry Journal

Polly dropped by yesterday with a gift in her hands. The present was wrapped in what appeared to be old recycled paper, crinkled and tied with twine.

Polly told me, “I waited until you’d finished your novel to give this to you.”

We were sitting on the sofa in my office, sisters in heart and spirit. As I opened the package, I inhaled the rich scent of leather. Inside, I discovered a red leather book. I asked, “What is this?”
And Polly explained she had given me a poetry journal. She went on to point out a flaw in the leather. “Natural scars are used in every design.”

For more than a year I had been too busy to write poetry. My days and nights had been spent writing Dogwood Blues, a novel.

I love found items and objects with scars and blemishes, rust from the past. The paper of my journal is aged parchment and the journal itself is made of bull or cowhide, rough with texture—the feel of calluses against the pads of my fingers. The buttons are huge and turquoise. When I flipped through the pages, I found a leather bookmark. Every single thing about the gift, from the package to the bookmark, felt sacred to me.

And now, it is time to write a blemished poem. Words will slip from my tongue like old scars. At times, when the need to write hits me, I do feel as though my mouth is stuffed with blemished words, words that need life.

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