The truth is

Moonflower, Door County, Wisconsin
The truth is

The truth is 
she doesn’t have a single reason to believe she’s anything
but worthless. The story repeated over
& over: the father who left, the mother who followed 
him in a drunken stupor, the family that claimed her 
but grew tired of her rotting in selfish silence.  

The truth is
her behavior’s erratic. She acts in ways that’re random, 
unpredictable, like one minute she sits cowering 
in the corner and the next she’s shouting 
at the spider who’s come too close. 

The truth is 
she wears her hatred like a robe, clothes herself in fathomless 
fear, a terror that life will continue on
like this for another day, 
another year, another lifetime. 

The truth is
deep within her trembles a belief: there is more. 
If she keeps moving toward the small flicker
of light, like a little star sparkling inside her, 
steady and deliberate, quiet, cautiously, 
she will find that there really is no space
for shame.

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