And I Don't Know A Soul Who's Not Been Battered

She rides the bus nearly every day, her dove-white hair gathered loosely underneath her winter's hat. She carries her belongings in suitcases, as if on a long ride from the airport to her final home.

But we all know there is no place she can put her suitcases down. There'll be no unpacking, there will be no homecoming. She will never put down her burden.

I look at the detail of her cheekbones, the clarity in her eyes. Did anyone ever tell her she was beautiful? Did they ever whisper "I love you" into the warm curve of her neck? Where is the young girl who laughingly vowed to be best friends forever, the father who told her, "One day I'll have to beat them away with a stick, my beautiful little girl".

I close my eyes to shut her out like everyone else.

Inside, I want nothing more than to reach across the aisle, to hold her hand. I want to unpack her suitcases, I want to let her shed her heavy coat. I want for her to never lower her eyes in shame again.

Because in the end, I don't want to be homeless. I want to open the door to your heart, and make it my home. I never want to pack my suitcases.

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