She looked back, unsure, unsettled.
There was an unhappiness in her today.
She didn’t know why.
It was getting harder to talk to others.
The words were useless, like the grease
encrusted papers after eating your meal.
Like those papers, they once held something
of worth, but what was off worth had been taken,
and only the husks and wrappers remained.
There was a young woman she wanted to know.
A young woman, cocksure and brave and strong.
That one seemed untroubled, unbowed, unashamed.
She’d see her, perhaps on her lunchbreak, smoking,
idly scrolling her phone, looking out on all the people.
Her eyes seemed like an eagles, bent on finding prey.
She always turned away from that young woman.
Kept her head down, looked at her feet, muttered.
She felt unworthy, as if an angel looked, found her wanting.
Market Square, crowded at lunch time, so much noise.
She walked, still looking back, still unsettled and disquieted.
The world was outside of her grasp, her knowledge, her hope.
Her heart ached. Mistrust rose from angels’ misrule. Banal chatter.
She made her way to her favorite vegan restaurant, already packed.
She waited for a table outside, feeling it all close in, a psychic vice.
And she looked back, at the little park, and the little dogwood trees.
She couldn’t say why, but she wanted to be there, among the shade.
A forest was once big enough to swallow her. Now had only shoals.