Shelter, Part II

The Poetic Asides prompt resonated with me. I found this still needed saying:

broken heart

Unconditional

Mary remembers vividly the last time
she saw this woman; back in high school,
when the then-girl had shoved her,
shouting “fat-fatty-batty, get away from us,
you whale.” The coffee splattered the girl’s dress
and she screamed as Mary’s mug shattered and
Mary had fallen on the shards, cutting herself badly,
but the girl acted as if nothing mattered but the
stain on the hem of her once-pristine white dress,
shouting obscenities as if Mary had caused it all
by merely existing.

Now, that girl is here, at her halfway-house.
Years have passed, but Mary never forgot
a single one of her tormentors and had once
dreamed of revenge, but she’d gotten past that,
she needs no avenging angel, she is beyond
the pain of her youth. The girl looks at her,
all unrecognizing, with questioning eyes.
“Am I safe here?” they ask. And Mary smiles
and lets her in, leading her to her room.
Mary knows that she can show this woman
what unconditional love feels like.
Maybe it will be the first time she’s ever had it.

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