I know every line, every
patch in this photography:
the indented place between
eyebrows where cancer grew
and was cut out. Bare more than
pink lines spread tributaries
in the creamy part of blue eyes
that once squinted by coal oil lamplight.
Acquiline nose tilts in some tribe’s
direction, cheekbones models
would kill for, a smile that hides teeth,
left over habit from a gold one in front
she was ashamed to show.
Ribbon lips spread in a smug smile
because she holds a great granddaughter
who sleeps snuggled where a breast
used to be, another part of her stripped
she would show you when she was in
the nursing home, a huge map
over her heart and she would say
"Look at this, have you seen this?"
Chin of no real significance
though often stuck out to her husband,
others who would control her, the world
in general, but here, in this snapshot
she is most herself holding a baby,
binding heart to new compass.
Copyright 2000, S.W. Rickett
S.W. Rickett has been a professional dancer; an x-ray technician; a public school teacher; a writer since the seventies and is presently seeking the degree of Master of English, Professional Writers Program, at University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has published poems in (among others) New Letters, Nimrod, Chouteau Review, Number One Magazine, From A to Z.