We had a new laboratory

We held up candles
as the priest muttered
His blessings.

Drip, drip
The wax
from our lighted candles

I looked at
a droplet
of candle wax
quickly drying
on the newly scrubbed

This droplet
will be seen:
by a student bored
with the lecture upfront,
by a teacher as
she makes her rounds,
by a janitor
annoyed that he
has to scrape it

But will any of them
how this droplet came
to be there?
Will one of them
care to even
about the question?

Maybe the people
who will see it
won’t have a clue,
maybe no one will even
a guess.

No one might recognize it
as a mark of history,
as a remnant of the ceremony
that asked God,
Please bless this place.

And then I thought,
it must be the same
for every other mark,
every other spot
of imperfection
in this room
and in all other rooms.

The people who
glimpse these marks
may never know
how those marks came about,
may never even care
to ask the question.

Every mark
that has scarred
an otherwise spotless
has a story,
is a story.

And isn’t the same true
for each mark,
each scar,
of each person?

Each of those scars,
which may manifest itself
in a myriad of ways—
a smile, a tear,
a sigh, a hope—
has a story
of how it came to mark
the person
for life.

Each scar has a story,
each scar is a story.

But how many of us
who glimpse the scars
of the people we know
will also get to know
the stories behind them?

How many of us
will even care
to ask? ♠

· • ο • ·


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