New Year’s Lift

Head bowed

In protection

Against cold-whipping wind

Sheltering vulnerable neck

In shadow of stubborn-clenched jaw


Eyes downcast

In shame

Burning with humiliation

Leadened with missteps

Avoidant of public judgement

Dogging every movement



In trepidation

Dodging dangers present and future

Watching each footfall

Toward potential preservation

Of aching body

Tortured and and frazzled soul

With fear and determination

Blended in virulent war

She pulls jacket collar higher

Sucks in a wavering breath

Raises head in millimeters

Lifts eyes along with chin

Faces world anew

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