Child-like face of a woman

Great dark eyes swathed in sadness

Eyes that bleed suffering as well as tears

Shedding the dreams that kept her strong


She thinks there is a measure of relief in giving up

The burdens of trying lead to fatigue

Cold fingers gripping the last shred of hope

Cast adrift on a frigid sea of indifference


No map to find her way home

She doesnÕt remember who she was

A light in the dark for others

Her warm smile and sweet voice 


In a childhood banked with girlish mischief and giggles

She finds now only respite in sleepy silence.

Voices in the distance call to her

Turning her head slowly


She sees the shadow of herself

Younger stronger taller 

Beckoning to her from the shore of her former life

She lets out the breath sheÕd been holding


And paddles against the waves

Desperation fueling her movements

Arms flailing, face contorting 

Despair melts into the puddle of her confused memories 

As she chooses life.


© Julie Anne Martin