Her eyes alertly track my eyes staring
at her face so disfigured that I have to will
my eyes to keep on looking as she sits there
playing with her doll, telling it to mind her
mind her now, and then smiling at it
with what’s left of her lips as if she were
the mother smiling at the child smiling
back at the mother: her face twisted up
by scars is a face of scars that’s only hers,
her face that I look at as she smiles first
indulgently, then back at herself as child
beseechingly asking mom for her approval.
The woman she will be tells her that she’s pretty
such a pretty girl, and the child she is
as the mother knows it too, she nods her head
and for that moment the three of them agree.