Barefoot At Dawn
Megan Prior

With hungry dark eyes, you look dawn’s expressionless face straight in the eye. You don’t care anymore, you embrace him. You drag your feet as you trail your persistent heart. Your legs are tired and sore; a willingness to follow him to where you’ll discover the city lights urges you on. With a pulsating aching body you go where he leads you.
You remember what your mother told you, “this is the last day you’ll have to go to this place”, her every-days promise.
You wish you could run to a safe refuge where you can feel protected and loved. You run away from him, the soft pillows of your feet baptizes the gravel with blood as you run, flee. You take your doll with you, your child.
Run till you find that haven that is so far away, you have still not grown from the mark on your mother’s kitchen door, one day you will also grow up just wait, you remind yourself.
You follow the horizon to where the sea receives your body with open arms. You bit the man that touched your hair, you spat in his face. The man who ripped your body apart piece by piece like an aborted infant’s life he couldn’t catch you. His beard is as grey as your grandfathers.
You run.
To a place where you can wrap your broken body in a patchwork blanket and lick your wounds until the memories heals. It was but your winter that picked at your stem with its freezing gale-force winds.
Still you run.
You see the dawn; the morning sun illuminates the frost on the grass. You flee through the wet grass, through the early morning dew until you find your refuge, your safe haven. Your spring has been waiting for you. You have seen your sunrise, the warmth of the sun embracing your frozen frame.
Your ragdoll tightly grasped and cherished under your fragile arm, you consider it with a mothers love and I wonder who taught you to. Was it your mother? Did she also keep you safe when the dark night sky delivered its nightmares and ghosts?
You weep, your tears like a wavering stream flowing...