Mother and Me
by Barbara Ann Smith

Mother's face tightens and wrinkles
while she pokes, digs into my flesh
to fetch the trapped splinter
in my finger. Gentle hands-
hazel eyes search my face.

My fears, her worry,
blood trickles--
watching my mask,
kind eyes express compassion,
hurting her more than me.

The needle appears larger--
waiting the climax,
a squeeze and a positive gesture,
looking down--
the log in my finger, a fragment.

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