“Atonement” by Ayesha F. Hamid

I searched her face for it,
atonement,
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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