By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

He lifted up his shirt and took my breath away.
Deep furrows plowed into his back,
The visible slashes of pain engraved in the skin like deep iron brands,
Never to be erased.
Slashes and lashes criss-crossing,
A mess of unbroken webbed lines.
The scars and the story behind the scars,
My soul was privy to.
Maybe it was our mutual love of writing,
Stories and lives simultaneously colliding
Around words.
We do not know nor do we see very often the "furrows" of another man's journey.
We do not understand the pain we can inflict by placing our hand gently on the back where another man's rougher hand has been.
We cannot know the treatment that one man has been subject too and another man has been spared of.
We do not look, very many of us, for the furrows.
But the furrows are there,
And the furrows are real,
In each of us to different degrees.
The wounds of my "furrowed" friend are buried in me forever.
I am better for having had seen them,
And he is better for having showed them to me.
I know this ...
I have furrows of my own.
Be kind.
Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.