This was an assignment from a writers’ conference in Santa Fe a few years ago. The instructor said to write about a scar and would you want to have it removed.
It should be across my chest, just below the collarbones. An imprint of a wall I’d never seen before – hundreds of yards long, twenty feet tall and forever thick. Cemented rocks to block my eyes, my ears from my heart … and from this newborn in my arms. It’s preventing me from feeling love for this grandchild just as it shielded me years ago from feelings when the social worker took the signed papers and my son. I built this barricade with river rocks of lies and jagged blocks of denial and hid it from sight.
Now that my son is back in my life and I hold his son, the infant sends the feared question through the wall at me, ‘How could you give up a child?’ And I know now. I know I had to build the barrier. And that knowledge causes the wall to dissolve leaving just a ragged furrow.
No, I won’t have the scar removed. It’s too new. I remember the weight of the wall. I haven’t yet found the extent of its damage.