turned back, praising

My skin connects me to the world,
its creases and lines are my interface
with everything
and everyone else.
When people look upon me
it is my skin, framing my eyes
and giving form to my soul,
that they see.
When I greet friends,
and our hands clasp
and our lips and cheeks touch,
it is my skin, and their’s,
that momentarily join.
When I embrace, and make love,
it is my skin, damp and flushed,
that unites me with my lover.

My skin betrayed me;
it turned leprous.
I became frightful,
a disfigured object of separation;
even children, normally curious
and accepting, were instructed to run away.
No-one would look upon my face,
there was none to touch or caress;
my pain was made complete in my despair.
Nor was there anyone to greet me,
save my equally reluctant
comrades in disconnection.

We lived in places in between,
where people passed through out of need,
not choice.
Thus the Teacher came by one day;
we shouted from a distance,
not daring to approach.
Showing the requested mercy,
he spoke his words of generous healing,
restoring skin and life,
and releasing great joy.

© Ken Rookes
Other poems for next Sunday can be found here and here

2 thoughts on “turned back, praising

  1. Pingback: On the border | poemsinseason

  2. Pingback: In exile | poemsinseason

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