to wrestle the demons she knows by name,
all while calmly stirring her tea.
She smiles to herself because
she hardly breaks a sweat anymore.
Your lips moved, but your words were soon lost to her.
Her face appears the same as it ever did,
but you are obviously unfamiliar with her war
and misunderstood the way she bled buckets in front of you
while her tears dried and the world went on.
Her struggles seem to be mere vapors to you.
A faint stripe of something unpleasant in the air
easily whisked away by fresh, breezy prayers
and a final spritz of denial.
A child’s giggles fill the room,
his voice so gorgeous and light that it floats.
She smiles as she pushes another foe's carcass
across the floor with her toes
so there is no need for you to stumble.
It leaves a dark smear only her eyes can see.
She is capable now of fighting while
she walks behind a shopping cart,
stands guard at a playground,
stirs a pot,
changes a diaper,
squints at a computer screen,
and even laughs loudly at jokes.
Just like any woman would.
She smiles now.
But the invisible, seething war rages on for her
without the luxury of rest in the cool shade of denial.
She must go into battle every single day.
Whether you ever really see it or not.