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Reminder

On my forearm, close to my wrist,
there are two white scars so faded
and tiny that you might not notice them

even if I pointed them out to you.
They’re the remnants of a bite mark
I received on Christmas Day, 2001. One

is a short white line and the other is
roughly circular–the circumference
of a molar. And of course they’re not all

that remain of my daughter–I have stacks
of pictures and videos, school art projects,
doctors’ reports, activity charts, MRI scans,

Special Olympics medals. I’ve kept five
or six pieces of her clothing, including
the sneakers I wear when I take the dog

for a walk along the rutted ATV trails
just west of town. I even, ridiculously, have
her brown velour La-Z-Boy rocker, ripped

and stained, the underlying structure so
decrepit that when you lean back into it,
the broken laths curve around to

conform to the shape of your body,
as if in capture or embrace. But it’s
the little scars that soothe me most,

because they’re always right there
with me, like pale tattoos, and they’ll
be there till the day I die.

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