“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 wouldn’t.

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

She laid cowering in the end,
a woman who commanded the attention of
rooms, died at night and took with her
any possibility of absolution.

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