She Walked Along

She walked along on a path she didn’t
want to be on, in a life
she avoided, in a hole she dug,
but she stayed.

She walked backwards through
the mud, through the dirt—stumbled,
crashed, burned—always, always
yearned, but she stayed.

“Bitch,” “whore”—she got called a lot
of things—a lot of words—a lot of
slaps, a slinging hand towards
her stinging face… but she stayed.

Woken up, bright
blue eyes, the one’s she loves
no longer shine. Smiles faked her,
words forsake her, but she stayed.

Eyes crusted over, lungs heaving,
she thought about leaving every
moment, every day – oh did she think
about leaving?

But she stayed. Bruises form in
new places – tender touches, warm
embraces, screaming matches, bruise
replaces tender touch, bright

red faces. Years pass this way –
time refuses to stop – snowflake turns
to dewdrop. You think about leaving,
and remember the aching, but you stay.