The lights are out
and the house is quiet as she slinks down the stairs.
You could never tell but by her haunted eyes what fear fills her mind;
and a way she has of looking over her shoulder,
cringing from shadows, touches, and people who aren’t there.
You could never tell from her stylish clothes or her prettily curled hair.
Her designer shoes wouldn’t give her away, or her outstanding grades.
Yet she walks like she’s expecting some sort of brutal blow.
Her eyes flick from yours, should you have the stomach to meet their fey sorrow.
The lights are out.
All her family sleeps as she creeps from her room.
The gentle night holds her close, keeps her face in shadow.
Delicate fingers shake as they reach to touch a rose,
running her finger across a silky petal, accidentally snagging on a thorn.
She whispers a quiet word to the patient, kindly night, an ancient question
as her finger bleeds. “Why?” and as always the night does not answer.
A petal falls, disturbed by her unsteady fingers, unable to cling to the stem any longer.
Silently another petal falls; a flower’s life is not so long as that of a woman.
Someone stirs and she flees to her room.
The night sighs, caresses her face as she slips into sleep.
You could never tell from her peaceful face that she is any different from you.