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On darker days her toes will curl,
Flex, flare, then slow, (but sure) they fasten,
One by one – and with careful measure,
As though aiming to decipher
Some primordial, geological message,
Left in braille, for her alone,
Along the edge of the cliff.

Each one of those little market visitors
Bites furiously into the ground,
Peering over the scarred, sagacious scarp,
As pieces of the in-firma terror
Begin to crumble away – the mucky scree.
A feculent mire of diminishing, dialectic, detritus.

First to her left, (one), then to her right, (two),
The pillars fall in tumbling, grey streams.
And then comes the sit-in – downtime.
For, an indeterminable period yawns ahead
As we both settle down to wait, to determine,
If today is the day, when centre shall join them,
And make for (three) – a plunging
Entrance to a rather melanoid party.

The trees on these plains are swayed by no winds.
This is the eye of the tornado.
The last tangible step – the boondocks of blue,
An indicator wavering over a gauge,
Perpetually running on empty.
Just one solitary click left in the tank.

Her shoulders are bare – truncated,
Devoid in this place.
Two ragged stumps heaving.
I watch her unconsciously open and close them slowly.
An old habit – the inbuilt reflex of a life long dead.
All gone now, with just its puckered remains;
Translucent, tracing paper tigers upon epidermis.

Her body is a map of forever,
Overlain with ancient pathways of scars to the stars.
Blinding white lines go through her mind.
Two webbed, pallid ladders, hang from deltoids to spine.
So many battles.
So many wars.
You win some.
You loathsome.

I’ve watched her escape myriad times,
My relief only sanctioned
Once she’s completely bolted.
Dashed, crashed – smashed through
The thick, capacious glass above,
Sailing off, straight as a die upwards,
Off into the clouds – safe, smiling once again.
Not a single glance backwards.

I wearily pick up the old wooden broom,
And begin to sweep the remnants of the chaos
She has left behind off the edge again.
So at least she’ll have a clean slate, next time.

It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.

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