Tuesday, 27 June 2017

tears dry on their own

There is a massive scar on my knee.  Three neat golden lines above my kneecap; stripes standing out against my brown skin backdrop.

As all scars do, mine have their own story. A tale that transports me back to my London childhood on a sunny day in a West London school playground.

There I was. Two neat Afro plaits on my seven year old head. A 1970s sun smiling on primary kids running through lunch-break, as primary kids are wont to do.

My endless running was momentarily paused to discuss a game of run-outs. Could lunch-time get any better? Only if the teacher let me ring the massive school bell in about half an hour, but until then no, run-outs meant playtime perfection.  

A decision to take a short-cut round the back of the rose bushes in front of our classrooms, a push from behind and there I am - rose thorn in my leg. Clamped tight like wall anchor screws. Nothing but nothing was gonna get these thorns out.

Turn away if you're squeamish. I saw flesh. I bled profusely. I was mesmerized, until the pain kicked in and the tears began. Friends scurried to find dinner-lady help whilst another wrapped her arms around me in best-friend protection mode.

"Well" the dinner lady said as her shadow loomed across me; a cloud in my understanding of humanity "You shouldn't have been running around by the rose bushes should you, you silly girl?"

I limped to medical room by myself. 

My golden scars; testament to a little girl who learned to read faces and moods and attitudes and think 'Oh right, that's who you are is it?'

This post was inspired by The Photographer's Gallery: familyphotographynow.net:Childhood Tears

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