James Dickson

–for Lucy, who came back to school
 
The scar begins behind her ear
and slithers its way around to
her forehead, ending above her
right eyebrow, like a question mark.
 
What questions does it beg to ask?
Is its shape a cruel cosmic joke?
A nasty coincidence? How
& why did she survive, outliving
 
the twisted ampersand of her car?
She wears other marks, each one
like functional jewelry, each one
performing precise purposes—
 
The colon of her stoma: it
holds her clavicles together
and causes pauses to erupt in
her speech.  The parenthetic
 
wheelchair holding (not
binding, not confining)
her body, bent like
a comma; frail, but alive.