Skin

Our skin is but a blank canvas,
and they are our canvases to do with what we will.

As children
our skin becomes pigmented by the sun,
freckles dance over our cheeks
and we first learn what it is to be alive.

Our skin grows with us.
Our skin is torn when we fall in the playground,
repaired over time,
ready to be torn again.

When we grow older,
we discover
skin can be used as a battleground,
a place where anger is apparent,
an object to be used at our own cost.

But our skin will repair,
just as it did when we were young.
Scars may form,
a reminder of the dark places we travelled to,
a reminder of where we shall never go again.

And as we grow older still
the scars fade,
and we cover our skin with meaningful symbols:
names of loved ones, names of lost ones,
hearts and butterflies and stars,
phrases that have spoken straight to our souls.

And as our skin continues to grow,
it wrinkles with the weight of our worries.
What will become of this planet?
What will I leave my children?

Our skin is with us until the end,
until we are lying on a bed taking our final breaths,
covered in freckles
and scars
and symbols
and wrinkles,
until finally our skin stops growing,
as do we.

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