Nurture

by Christine Adams Beckett

The image of a morphing face
Squints at a deepening line
Intersecting with a place
And an emotion, in kind.

A topographic map
Of one particular past
As cartograph
Laid out in glass.

Two craters, bipolar,
Varicella-zoster virus
In symmetrical order
Left to remind us,

That this same visage,
Once unchartered, ignorant,
Awed by new courage
Was rendered cognizant.

One elbow, split brow
The feet of crows
Bleeds into rivers,
A tributary line grows.

One cannot decipher
Where sophomoric injury
The rivers of the Punjab, weather
And merge in mystery.

Contour lines, Shaded relief
Hours exposed, warm rays of sun
Discoveries and disbelief
While hindered by none.

So smoothly spread a cream
With shaking creased fingertips
As daughter watches, countertop, lean
Share the scars from feathered wise lips.