Liquid Bandage by Michele Riedel

Brush a thin film over the slit on your papered skin—
………..feel the throbbing start to numb.

Shields against……………………………..daily scrapes
……………………………………………………blisters and callouses
……………………………………………………prickles
……………………………………………………exposed nerves

I scan directions for
protection from…………………………….splintered remarks

lodged so deep
they remain hidden
until the skin regenerates……………….pushing the sharpness slowly
……………………………………………………toward the surface

Search for……………………………………toxic comments from others
…………………………………………………..places not yet recovered

…………………………………………………..pummeled layers from sharp tongues
turned red to purple to blue to yellow from deep tissues that ooze their spew.

Scars that never faded,
alleyways from the past.
My palms sweat as I touch the thick callouses

breathe deeply, revisit Let go

knowing how proud flesh bridges a cut
and gaps fill in with patience.

white bandaid against pale blue background
Terita by Daniel Lobo. CC license.

Michele Riedel
Michele has been published in North of Oxford, Third Wednesday, MCV Literary Messenger, University Professors Press, and River City Poets Anthology. She loves to attend critiques, workshops and open mike nights and has found a supportive community with River City Poets. She taught Reading and ESL (English as a second language) in elementary schools and loves the written word. Her first chapbook titled Tumbling Lessons is forthcoming in September, 2021 by Finishing Line Press (available on Amazon)

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