Rain Runner

Her footsteps, splashing through the watersoaked street
almost keep pace with her rapid heartbeat.
Her soggy clothes threaten to wear her down
as she races through a lonely section of town.
She cannot look back; if she does she is lost.
She must escape him at any cost.

Her pounding chest tightens, only partially from her journey,
but also from the thought that she once said, "He'd never hurt me."
That was before he began to show his rage
and leveled it upon her in their tenement cage.
He always apologized afterward, and seemed so sincere,
but she still spent night after night, huddled in fear.

Approaching headlights jar her from her mind
and she redoubles her efforts to leave that wretched life behind.
But where does she go? No money, no relatives in which to turn.
She finds herself in an alley where whinos watch refuse burn.
Only now does she realize that the rain has long stopped
as she watches these vagrants whom society's hands have dropped.

One greets her, while the others pretend to ignore
and the one (named Stanley) asks about her personal war
"What war?" she asks quickly, wondering if it indeed shows
He replies, "The one where your cheek and neck received those jarring blows."
She insists it's none of his business, but finds herself telling of her pain
When she's done, Stanley asks her name.

After a long silence, she whispers, "Rain."

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