like she wants out of it, pushing hard against
everything to tear it off like a molting snake.
Simple. She’s not scarred, instead, impossibly flawless
like the first real snow of a Connecticut winter.
She’s not broken. She can stand on her own.
Peaceful. No more waking to the sound
of screaming, panicked fists lashing out
looking into blank, hollow eyes begging.
Easy. No more gut wrenching, brain freezing need
to coddle and comfort and protect
to be a safe harbor in the night from demons.
Empty. No one quite able to plug the holes
in this protector’s heart left by my own desertion,
AWOL by choice and damned for it.