Heavy-framed shades protect her eyes,
and the shadows that lie like bruises beneath them.
She doesn’t talk to her parents,
who see the world behind blinkers,
a narrow view that would marry them
with the traditional shotgun.
She doesn’t talk to her friends,
whose rose-tinted vision of her
would have them going after him with a hatchet
and wrapping her in layers of smothering wool.
She doesn’t even talk to him.
Because if he were to know,
his ego would make it his decision,
his choice…like everything else.
Result? A cold white room in a crowded clinic,
where the eyes never meet and the hands clasp furtively,
and every man’s face wears a look of guilt,
and every woman’s face the question of regret.
At least this is her own.
October 22, 1992