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.

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