Behind The Sigh

She stands before me
with those empty eyes,
that familiar, hollow stare screaming,
“I’m lost,
confused,
exhausted.”

Resiliency has armed her
with a bucket full of excuses
as to why abuse is
tolerable,
inevitable;
so it must be acceptable.

The familiarity of her words
echo the defective reasons…
why I once stayed,
why I could never leave,
why I saw good
in places where none existed.

Standing in the presence of her sadness,
years of denial becomes translucent,
raw honesty illuminating
my former flawed thinking.
Then she sighs—
vulnerability exposing…

Desperation.
Yearning.
Strained hope.
Knowing there’s got to be more,
but fearing she’ll never experience
relief from constrained breathing.

She fights against irrational boundaries
that blister and bleed her grip on reality,
but is terrified the truth will be
more than she can handle.
So, she exhales, not realizing
she’s been holding her breath.

How else do you loose the bonds
that strangle and restrict…
common sense,
dignity,
self-respect,
freedom?

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