startled awake at two am
bedroom illuminated
by the glowing green
stoplight down the street
from my childhood home
whistling cars pass beneath
those sixty-year-old windows
catching the figure in the cherry
dresser’s rectangular mirror
the face becomes disfigured
a lack of light and sight
blurring her features
the girl staring back is no longer
soft around her once-lacy edges
her face is angular with
evidence of fairy-stepped
dances on sunkissed
cheeks with strands of wild
curls floating above
her barely-there brows
the delicateness locked
behind ill-fitting armor
donned each night
protecting her from my gaze