My Daughter's Tattoo
Here’s what struck me: high on her thigh,
red and blue—a bruise, it looked to me,
though she said daisy. Why this wound,
this mouth breaking the peace? Time
writes its own story on skin: better to listen
than speak. But she was twenty-one, old enough
to torture her flesh with ink if she chose.
And perhaps it wasn’t about tattoos at all
but about disaster: all the things I
couldn’t stop and can’t undo, the times
she was sick or sideswiped or scared. There she was
turning pain to a daisy worn at the hip—
admirable, really, though I wonder how she feels,
now she’s married and mother besides
and thrown as I once was
into the wolf-strewn wilderness of terror
for a child born smooth and bruiseless
and soon to be wounded.
RUTH HOBERMAN, a writer living in Chicago, is particularly interested in the intersection of bodily experience with science and the physical world. Her poetry has appeared in Natural Bridge, Spoon River Poetry Review, PANK, and Rat's Ass Review, and is forthcoming in Calyx, The Healing Muse, and Blue Heron Review.