A haiku or two: surgery and scars

A hand in a latex glove holds a surgical scalpel
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

This month’s haiku prompt is…surgery and scars! Many thanks to blog reader David Mac for the inspiration! David came up with this wonderful haiku already:

Triple heart bypass

Scarred for life I’m pleased to say

… for life … for life …yay!

October 22nd was actually Scar Appreciation Day and the wonderful stories and photos people were sharing over on Instagram for that confirmed my suspicion that this would be an interesting topic to explore with you all.

A man's chest with scar running down the centre of it. He holds his hand in victorious and defiant gestures,
“scar” by drburtoni is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Maybe your only scars are tiny needle marks from blood tests, or maybe you are a fully certified member of the “zipper club” – whatever your thoughts about heart-related surgery and/or scars, love them or hate them, we want to hear about it via the medium of haiku.

The usual reminder: a haiku is a three-line poem with 17 syllables, arranged so there are 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 in the third. But, as ever, we are not the haiku police and nobody will be penalised for having the “wrong” number of syllables. ALL creative contributions are welcome and will be received so gratefully!

Just leave your contribution (haiku or otherwise) in the comments section at the end of this post if you would like to be included in this month’s collaborative zine. Remember, you don’t have to comment under your real name – a pseudonym is fine and I’ll use whatever name you leave with your comment when I make up the finished zine. Also, feel free to interpret the prompt any way you like and to reveal as much or as little as you choose – would be great to see some tongue-in-cheek responses to the topic alongside more serious contributions.

The queen's face on a 1p piece next to a very tiny white scar, approximately 3mm long. The photo has filters applied to make the scar more visible.
My own photo of my MINISCULE angiogram scar

I have four scars from heart-related procedures, but have never had open heart surgery and have always (so far) healed well, so they don’t impact on my life too much. Even so, it hasn’t stopped me writing a haiku about one of them for you! Pictured above is the scar I’ve chosen to write about. No, my scar doesn’t look like a 1p piece, my scar is next to the 1p piece. Still can’t see it? I promise it’s there, just to the right of the “TH” of “Elizabeth”. This practical pin-prick (it’s only around 3mm across) on the inside of my right wrist was the access point for an angiogram nine years ago, meaning a tube was inserted into this opening and fed all the way to my heart.

Tiny scar on wrist

Granted access to my heart –

All is connected.

Ah, the wonders of modern medicine! And the wonders of the human body! Although the thought of angiogram can make me feel rather woozy, it also amazes me and looking at this scar usually reminds me that lots of minor miracles have already been performed on me and will probably be performed on me in the future…as long as we still have the NHS, of course.

I have written one other haiku about a scar before, and it’s one that I feel much less positive about – the large and mysterious scar on my heart (cause unknown) that stops it from functioning as it should.

The hearts of sinners

physically manifest.

My scarred heart says…what?

If you managed to catch my recent presentation on Cogheart, you’ll already know about my interest in stories of saints and sinners and how their (im)morality was often believed to manifest itself physically within or upon the heart. That’s a blog post (and a half) for another time! Suffice to say my scarred heart might have marked me out as a bad egg once upon a time, but what (if anything) does it say about me now?

I know many of you reading this will be much better qualified than I am to write about scars and surgery, and I can’t wait to hear what you all have to say! As ever, I will do my best to have the zine available for free download by the end of the month. Happy haikuing!


  1. 17 weeks since my op
    When my heart was stopped
    They have sewn me up…

    And I was up!
    Already on second day!

    All was well, alas!
    Keloid formed to harass
    Poor me…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ICD they said.
    Fat angry wound at the time
    Now just a white line

    Three angiograms
    Two stents put into my heart
    Three tiny white scars

    “I’ll just take some blood”
    No veins for the needle, though.
    Many little dots…

    Liked by 1 person

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