Little Darling
by Natalie Crick

Something very small
Lives in there still.
A black flower
Blooming in the darkness.

Holding her breath,
Waiting to be touched.
But bleeding.

Here comes the sun,
Little Darling.
Where do the other children play?
She can hear the trees.

The loner’s black thoughts
Are ephemeral.
He curdled the smell of absence
In soured milk.

These are sinister times.
They begin and end in silence
Where the barren fields are far away,
The moon half-asleep.

It is snowing outside,
The dark blindly asserting itself.
She steps naked from the dark room
Into the cool circle of light.

Her reflection.
The mirror she can’t escape,
Saying her name over and over
From somewhere wetter, more dangerous.

All she has done,
All she has planned
Has led to this.
Look how beautiful she is.

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