“Bathing” by Susanna Lang

Every morning now
you draw the washcloth down
my arm, careful not to
rub too hard—the scar

is still a little sore.
You lift my breasts to wash
beneath, and turn me round
as if some music played

and not the shower. You scrub
my back, invite me out
into the towel’s blind
embrace and yours, although

you see it all—the skin
that puckers and flakes, an arm
that will not bring my hand
to my mouth, or bear a weight.

Still you get up with tired
eyes to test the water,
and make my bath a dance
to open up the day.

Susanna Lang’s most recent collection of poems is Tracing the Lines (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2013). She lives in Chicago, where she teaches in the Chicago Public Schools.

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