She was a collector: a gatherer

of delicate glass. She buffed and burnished,

placed each piece carefully, precisely, on the side,

next to pictures of lost friends and their children.

And the pieces were cracked. All cracked and chipped,

as they displayed the burden of brittle slights

collected from a lifetime of china chats

and chirps that had fluttered from afternoon tease.

She had polished each piece furiously,

lest a blemish of doubt clouded the clarity

of whom was responsible for the flaws.

A certainty would temporarily

cement the cracks, before they opened again

and she sliced deeper into cuts and confusion.

hrawn Dorothea