She stands on a low stool
wearing blue surgical booties
and a dazed expression,
limp cotton gown at her feet.
Plastic men with purple magic markers
(permanent pointy tip)
circle her, chatter in matching mint green scrubs,
slowly map the scalpel’s winding path
with purple spots and sketchy lines.
They connect dots, front and back,
mark pale skin sorely branded,
burned and scarred.
She senses their plot and plan
from a far off distant place.
Her hands first flutter nervously at her sides
then clutch and clench,
open closed, open closed
pushing shame and anger
in hot surges, up to stain her cheeks flaming red.
Naked and fierce, no pockets hide her fists.
She poses on her pedestal,
spins around slow,
no twinge of fear, no prayer of hope,
mute – a block of damaged marble
impatient for an artist’s sharp blade
to set her fighting spirit free.