Heavy is the burden that settles on her shoulders,
The ashes of a world burned down.
"How could anything," she wondered, "so much like happy snow,
Be the reminder of an act so vile?"
Gone are the friends that kept her in their hearts
The people in which she confided.
"I miss them," she confessed, "though I can only just remember
The games that we played on the isles."
Lost is the innocence others once in her saw
The sweetness of a thing untainted.
"Now strangers," she cried, "are disgusted with me,
For the sight of me fills them with bile."
Few are the number that care for her now
The kind souls she has met on her way.
"But they do not know," she reminded herself.
Not a girl anymore, nor a child.
Numbered are the thoughts she spares for those days--
The ones she spent camped in her fear.
She instead spends her time tending to the coals
That one day she will again have need of.
-Alison Belle Bews (2015)