Poem: A Great and Terrible Beauty (unfinished)

She walked as one constantly broken and reconstituted

In the process, some piece was always lost

Leaning heavily on one side, she walked on

Eyes gazed upon her frame, casting silent judgment

Up and down, finally down, they looked upon her

Dark skin, unkempt and wooly hair, big-boned

She was stripped of her personhood and made subject

A subject of contempt, open to judgment

Still she walked on, away and toward

Closer and closer approached she

And the pain in her gait became apparent

Empathy replaced apprehensive distance

I caught a glimpse into her dark brown eyes

And there I saw the truth of the matter

Nothing cloaked the windows of her soul

The exquisite pain rippled beneath

the smooth skin of her face

It exuded like the perspiration

that dissipated from her being

It flowed like the blood in her arteries

Like the air she breathed, it simply was.

She flinched at my touch, moved away

Unaccustomed as she was to gentleness

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