Picking at Scabs

A fingernail pushes,
wedging beneath a
crunching border with the
inevitability of an

Each millimeter a
pinpoint of agony
made with conscious effort;
at last deciding to do something
about this sickening scab.

As this hardened, clotted shell is
unearthed, apprehension and
second-thoughts spike.
“I thought this was healed;
maybe I should have left
well enough alone.”

But it is too late for
that whimper;
what has begun
must be finished since
momentum has a way of
pushing us past the
point of no return.

So we rip and tear methodically,
before the decision to push through
overpowers and before we know it,
we hold in our fingertips a
grayed fragment of ourselves.

Sure, it might bleed a little, but
it’s reassuring to see the
renewal of fresh,
pink flesh;
maybe that reminder is all
we have to know we’re
still alive.

by Erik Shinker

4 thoughts on “Picking at Scabs

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