working themselves out like splinters,
festering under the skin for so long
I can hardly remember when I first felt their presence.
Hardly remembering the initial pain
of their original penetration into my being.
What brings them out at such inopportune moments?
They do not come out quickly or easily.
It starts with an uncomfortable throbbing;
a tenderness that you cannot quite put your finger on.
Then a dull pain, a jogged memory,
a sight or a sound or a smell
that quickly turns into an acute sting
as the splinter breaks through the skin.
What does one do with a thought like a splinter?
Pluck it out and cast it away?
Is it worth the digging and the scratching and the bleeding
to remove what has been a part of you for so long?
No, we push them back in
and we forget all about them again.
We are the splinter men.