Affliction drives her hardened heart’s intent
While pity masks the mysteries of her truth
And comforts her with mutated hope.

She contemplates the days gone by,
When the luster of her countenance,
Concealed the frailty of her dreams.
And visions of escape assail her crowded mind
To suppress the swelling of her fears
And adulterate the bitter taste of her soul.

She veils herself in the coolness of a dampened cloth
And breathes…

Then she paints her face to cover up her shame
And stuffs the undergarments of her soiled life
Inside a tattered sack.

She labors for the door,
And hears the stumbling of his graceless steps.
As she nears the threshold of her sovereignty,
She’s tempted by the tease of no return.
Convinced that someday she could learn
To somehow love herself.

He smiles at her in the bliss of his oblivion
And knows that she’ll be back.

by M. Richard Smith

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