Aegis

Think of her as not here, Lord. Only a thin
pencil stroke from the last bonfire, only 

the salt-crust from a storm's last heave. 
Day after day, she picks splinters out 

of her hair or covers her face in a quilt 
arranged by the sea. Even these, 

Lord, she would prefer. But when you lob  
lockets filled with hair wreaths of disaster, 

she turns into a backyard of landmines—
except she's made to understand such munitions 

are not for her to deploy, but to detonate or
dispose. But if you think of her at all, 

Lord, deliver a vision untouched by talons except
as they swiftly alight on an arm extended in trust

to the air. Stroke on her torn cheek a camphor 
blessing. Adorn her with hornbill earrings. 

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