She came to me,
cocooned and unwarned,
thinking she was safe in a world
she held tight about her,
as the old crone holds her shawl
against a bullying wind.
Our worlds collide
and she is shocked by my strong
and cutting words.
Walls crumble in confusion
and tears well up.
I glimpse a child
She told me I was hurtful, and I agreed,
my tool of last resort was hurt
against the bitter way she strewed
white rose petals of disdain,
each and every one
with the blood-red mark of pain.
And then she asked my name,
to know who it was that dare intrude on her
and when I spoke again,
she released her child name into my care
—like a butterfly—
and almost . . .
©Copyright Niall OConnor 2014