she eats her lunch alone,

in a noisy crowded cafeteria

the sentencing of Nassar

playing in the background.

“this is not my story,” the judge says

“this is the survivors’ story”

which she hears above the din

head buried, tears slip into her soup

because no matter how much

time passes, some wounds

never heal – no matter how hard

she fights to overcome them,

some injuries linger on in

her mind and her heart

and it takes all her energy to

lift herself, to eat her lunch and smile at

the co-worker, the janitor, the cashier,

to carry the ancient unresolved

pain of her own silent survival


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