Scar by Chris Deal

May 9, 2011 Comments Off on Scar by Chris Deal

She hadn’t smiled since we returned home from the hospital. She was beautiful, and I told her that every moment I could, though without her smile the world we found ourselves in was colder. She imitated a grin and buried her face in the pillow, telling me to save the compliments. ‘They’re stronger when used sparingly.’ I kissed her neck and went to the kitchen for her tea. When I came back, a single cup of bone china in the center of the tray and red as the horizon at dusk, she was sitting up, her hand resting on her pale belly, the thin scar still fresh, and I pretended not to notice. I sat beside her and we listened to the wind moving through the limbs outside our window, we watched the sun move across the wall until it was awash with gold. She fingered the beads of her necklace and traced the track down from her breasts, the tea untouched and cold.

I asked if she was strong enough for a walk and she nodded. ‘Where are we going,’ she asked, and I told her down to my studio, that I wanted to take her photograph. She bit the rose petal pink of her lip and nodded. A Kashmiri wrapped around her shoulders, I helped her down the stairs, her arms around me with each circumspect step. She stood in the middle of the gallery, warm enough that she could stand in only her nightdress. I installed the plate in the camera and when I turned to her again she had found the doll for the children, to abate tears, elicit a smile. Cradled like a babe ready to feed, her eyes were far away and her smile, shy as it was, bloomed alive. She hummed softly and I took the photograph, capturing her forever.

© 2011 Chris Deal

Chris Deal writes from North Carolina. His debut collection, Cienfuegos, was published by Brown Paper Publishing in early 2010. He can be found at

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