White Bracelets

we all have old scars

and sometimes in winter

I can  still see what was

white bracelets

(let’s call them white bracelets

just as my grandmother used to say

when we fell down steep stairways,

stop crying or you’ll miss hearing

the stairs–they’re still dancing)

what was once white bracelets

what before that showed pink

what before that was raw & festering

what before that was agony

down to the bones

what before that was

almost blacked out

& being dragged by the tractor

in the barbed wire

what before that was

surprise & yelling:

can’t you STOP STOP

what before that was

lying in the grass

reading a blue letter

looking up into sun & clouds

that were riffed

and quiet like white bracelets.

–by Colleen Thibaudeau