The pock-marked cheeks from healed over chicken pox,

cupped now in a cool caress,

Sore feet from trails too long walked,

raised on an ottoman before the fire.

Lungs filled with soot,

now filled with herbal steam,

Skin burnt to breaking,

now shaded from the sun.

Arms that have worked untold fields,

With stomach never full, then over-filled to lethargy

Now sated and sleeping

Below the roof they built.

The body scarred with bullet holes,

stretched wide and birth forced,

Poisoned by water and mite,

Now caressed and embraced,

Fingers gently tangled through hair speaking words of safety.

The face still smarting from a slap,

and the hand raised overhead to answer in kind,

Stilled;

Stopped.

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