The girl wraps shivering arms around herself,
Her skin scraped raw by a coarse dress, and a
Thread bare cap covers scraggly hair.
Have fled, leaving behind a puddle of
Blood still stains her
Fingers grip a scrap of bread
Close to her gaunt chest between the
Crevices of her ribs and shadows
From a tiny lick of flame.
Her head pounds with each
Step through icy water.
Eyes crawl on her skin in the gloom
Wax scalds her skin, dripping
Lost in the filth beneath her feet.
Shadows press around her, and claws
Snatch the bread, the cap,
Tears the cloth and hair in a frenzy,
Jagged nails rip her parchment skin, and
Leave her there, curled naked.
She leaves the streets behind her
Gentle leaves, softer than her mother’s touch
Lull her, and she sleeps, cradled by gnarled roots.
Sharp stars fall around her frozen body,
Glinting like coins.