I offer her a ride
an escape from a gray Pennsylvania winter’s day.
She opens the car door
smelling like cigarettes and stale beer
her story begins to unfold as I greet her eyes
life written over her hardened face.
She thanks me for the ride
leaving the miserable cold behind
as we drive between the painted lines
her story begins to be told
Each sentence like a pointed arrow
unleashed without mercy
her pain escapes through each piercing wound.
I witness her fear—
like drops of splattered paint upon a wall
her emotions run like tears
streaming to break free of hardened confines.
We reach her destination.
Bio: Valerie is a perceptive poet and writer living a happy life in Happy Valley, Pennsylvania. A native of central Pennsylvania, she received her BA in History from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia.