In school, she painted a smile,
sat in her seat with her hand down,
and hoped one day her heart would mend.
She was tired of waiting,
tired of wishing for sleep,
tired of wanting the nightmare to end.
Some children waited for the tooth fairy,
others the Easter Bunny,
or maybe Santa in his sled.
Staring at the darkness each night,
she waited for the floorboards to creak outside her room,
waited for the dread to end.
©January 2018, Christina Anne Hawthorne