“Atonement” by Ayesha F. Hamid

I searched her face for it
in her eyes that had seen
a spectrum of scenes over years
her brow which she could have bent
signaling absolution, but she didn’t.

The last thing she gave was a reluctant smile
so I thought maybe she’s coming round
but before I could sit
listen as she told me again to toughen up
to always hold my head up high
in this world of vultures, redemption, sin
before I could talk to her of mistakes
and regret, her soul fled.

She died at night, a woman
who could command the attention
of any room, at the end laying cowered,
alone on the ground, taking with her
any possibility of peace between us.

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