The rubble lies before her,
prostrate and submissive,
chalky remains of her defences,
soft rock and twenty-year old bricks.
This was her fortress,
her safe place and prison,
over the years the lines had blurred,
no longer sure if these walls were built
to ward people off
or keep people in.
Now, she stood in a dust cloud,
crumbling air settling thickly
into every pore and in her lungs,
swaddling her in a blanket of vulnerability,
left naked as the centre of attention,
a yellow bulb lighting every flaw
she had smoothed over with the plaster
piled around her feet.
The question which usually went to voicemail
hung, immovable before her eyes;
Do we rebuild?
It came from voices of versions
of herself – stubborn and soft,
happy and cross,
warm and cold,
all with the same wish,
to rebuild and forget,
to shun regret
and cast humility to the…
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