My mixed-race daughter no longer notices her scar;
a pale cusp on honeyed warmth,
but beneath my own (white) skin, it clings as guilty revenant.
I couldn’t put her down, the crying, colicky baby,
can’t recall how the mug slipped,
spilling water off the boil.
Screams hurled my thoughts in directions
ungraspable as newborn skin
disintegrating in strips.
I can’t remember it, she says,
but deep in the bone, for no obvious reason,
her foot aches at night.
And inside the broken-down kitchen of my sinews,
a shrill kettle whistles anxiously,
perpetually poised to scald.
Sophia Wilson has recent writing in NZ Poetry Society Anthology, Flash Frontier, Landfall, Australian Poetry Anthology, Mayhem, Love in the time of COVID (a chronicle of a pandemic), Intima, Poetry New Zealand, Corpus, Not Very Quiet, The Poetry Archive: World View and elsewhere. She was runner-up in the 2020 Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems and winner of the 2020 Robert Burns Poetry Competition.