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More poems by Michael OndaatjeMichael Ondaatje | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by Michael OndaatjeBooks by Michael Ondaatje

The Time Around Scars

Michael Ondaatje

A girl whom I've not spoken to
or shared coffee with for several years
writes of an old scar.
On her wrist it sleeps, smooth and white,
the size of a leech.
I gave it to her 
brandishing a new Italian penknife.
Look, I said turning,
and blood spat onto her shirt.

My wife has scars like spread raindrops 
on knees and ankles,
she talks of broken greenhouse panes
and yet, apart from imagining red feet,
(a nymph out of Chagall)
I bring little to that scene.
We remember the time around scars,
they freeze irrelevant emotions
and divide us from present friends.
I remember this girl's face,
the widening rise of surprise.

And would she 
moving with lover or husband
conceal or flaunt it,
or keep it at her wrist
a mysterious watch.
And this scar I then remember
is a medallion of no emotion.

I would meet you now
and I would wish this scar
to have been given with
all the love 
that never occurred between us.


Submitted by shadowfax

Added: 24 Feb 2003 | Last Read: 19 Apr 2018 4:57 PM | Viewed: 11844 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/8025/ | Viewed on 19 April 2018.
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