She wears struggle on her face
like laundry on a line. A sagging collection
of rags and tatters, remnants of
rough spin cycles
Jagged lovers and others
who shredded her confidence;
soiled her honor like worn socks;
tossed her self-respect into the hamper.
But friendliness greets her
with eyes more forgiving than her own,
the creatures and trees who shelter
her dignity, as wild ones do.
She rambles among redwoods and firs;
inhales their moist mustiness; hums
to a soft rustling of pine needles
and spongy moss beneath her feet.
Autumn breezes rinse regrets
from her hair as she pivots past
on forest path; sunlight sweetens her sorrow
and woodland winds freshen her lungs
from the dust of careless choices.
She slips back into the city
sipping juniper tea, her green eyes alive.
Sharp edges hang softer now.
She grins, settles back into her skin.
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