my skin today is wafer thin
freckle patterned washi paper
a word from you could land awry
leave a dent or worse
spread blue ripples
from follicle to epidermis
I hold my tongue, fold in
to stop the tide

our kitchen window frames
an ukiyo-e print
the ink outline of a branch
speaks of cherry blossoms
my eyes, a well,
lack the habitual filter
for beauty,
they flow

I thicken my skin,
soften beauty’s impact
by writing pale pink flowers
on the hardened branch
to see joy
not death approaching
when the pen speaks
your fingers may touch
I might not flinch

* * * * *

Esther de Vries is Dutch, holds a masters degree in French literature and teaches English at an international school in Zurich, Switzerland. This is her first contribution to Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure.

Leave a comment


  1. Beautifully captured moment, distilled in time.

  2. Yes, when the pen speaks. Wonderful.

  1. Dr. Hurley’s Digest, Vol. II, Issue 39 « Dr. Hurley's Snake-Oil Cure

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