There are handprints on my heartbeat,
a few smudges on my veins
from all the people who have touched
my life and left their stains.
Some marks have taught me kindness,
and some scars have taught me love.
Some have shown me all the things
I want to free my heart of.
The stories that they’ve written
span the pages of my pulse,
and the music that they’ve sung to me
is rhyme that calms and lulls.
Some stories hold a sentence
to be summed up in a blot,
while others stretch through paragraphs
(but no more than they ought).
Some people penned a masterpiece
with print that glints in light,
while others scratched with feathers—
they left marks, but they can’t write.
There were hands with jagged fingernails
to wound and watch it bleed,
but there were hands with warmth enough
to plant a flower seed.
There were hands that left my heart
to worlds of lost, abandoned care;
but there were hands that picked it up
despite the deepened scars they share.
I’m hopeful for a handprint
as I meet a smiling face—
I listen for new stories,
and I clear a keepsake place.
I know that each will teach me
more of all I’m meant to learn
and fill the places on my heart
with every scar I’m called to earn.
There’s no room for discontentment
with the marks that come my way,
because each one has a purpose.
What is there is what will stay.
I want my heart to be a home
for every story to be told;
I want the traces that they left
to have a place in every fold.
There are handprints on my heartbeat,
a few smudges on my veins;
and I’m thankful for the hands that touched
my life and left their stains.
Someday when I’m a scrapbook,
I’ll leaf through and understand
why each mark was meant to be there—
and I’ll treasure every hand.

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