News & Publications
Featured Poem – May/June 2008
The Skin That I'm In

The skin that I’m in, brown & scarred, sometimes ashy

The skin that I’m in, does not lie—if you look, really look, it tells my story.

Once upon a time it was paper thin, like the skin of a tomato, delicate,

born with a birthmark the color of a butterscotch lifesaver.

My first scrape of the knee, I thought I would die, but then this wonderful

scab formed & when picked off, it left a mark, my first mark of battle.

Tasting my blood for the first time—exhilarating-fearless, feeling immortality.

My skin surprised me, every bruise, every cut, every scratch (self-inflicted or not) always

healed, amazing.  With every new mark on my delicate, brown skin, I formed layers

like an unpeeled onion.  Those layers formed a thick skin (so I thought).

As I aged the scars got more severe & the skin was like Sir Lancelot’s armor & shield.

It was like Superman’s chest, bullets ricocheting everywhere.  Little did I know, all that

protection did not apply to my brain, my mentality, & my emotions—they were left

wide open for attack from the enemy (ME).

The skin I’m in has endured so much pain for 2 lifetimes, yet it is still protecting me,

till so soft to the touch.

Diane Dawson
About the Poet

“I wrote ‘The Skin That I’m In’ at three o’clock in the morning. I was looking at the wrinkles in my face and the marks and scars on my body—and this poem came out. I’m glad to share it, because it talks about something I think a lot of people can relate to.

“For me, writing is relief. I love poetry. I don’t think I’ll ever stop.”

—Diane Dawson

A longstanding participant in ASC Situations. Diane currently works for the New York State Unified Court System, which she describes as, “My dream job—the job I’ve been searching for my whole life.”

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