it is hard to look into the face
of love never returned
hard to look away
hard to know what of
herself she has yielded
what of herself
she has set aside
to be here. today
there are only half sentences
she leaves her fingers
to walk the story
across the counter
between us,
picking at the wood grain.
of all the things she has surrendered
to make a life for her children
to keep her children alive,
her home
her country
the red mountains of the escarpment
each and every person
she ever knew before,
it is the loss of her children’s love
that steals life from her.
it is them never knowing
that she loves them
that slowly steals her life.
it is ok, she said
turning her face away
when they are older
maybe they’ll know
what i did for them.
maybe the will know.
and god i hope
that’s true.
please let it be true.

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