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a child, dressed in white,
comes home from play
with dirt streaks on her dress.
"what did you do today,"
her mother asks her,
"to make such an awful mess?"
the girl cries in shame,
and lies to escape,
"i fell off my bike,
but i'm really okay."
as the years go by,
the white disappears.
its glorious magnificence
haunted in dirt streaks
from the bicycle
that took away her innocence.
the years have passed,
but the hurt is harbored
like a wounded boat
with nowhere else to go.
in sudden fear of holy eyes,
she turns to a dear friend,
shows him the scar and
explains how she fell
off her bicycle that day.
he looks at the tugboat
of shame and hidden fear,
and cuts the ropes.
they watch as it
slowly floats away.

Alissa Wiens


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