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by Phoebe Au

Soft, frail and pretty,
she lies there, wilting behind
my father's window.

She was in bloom once,
plucked from a lush green meadow,
severed from her roots.

Leaves, like green wings, clipped.
Her cries, hastily stifled.
Stems, violently snapped.

Unable to speak.
A windowsill ornament,
unable to scream.

Left to watch the street
beyond the glass. They stare at
her fragile beauty.

Her head bows further.
Submission, she's told, is an
act of survival.

Away from the glass,
she has turned her Maidenhead,
lest she dare hope for

A life beyond her window.