“Tough,” they said.
(In describing the final surviving castaway.)
An island unto herself …
The inner-she that she doesn’t let them see.
Behind the walls …
Behind the facades …
Behind her “mad-at-the-world” demeanor …
(She is dying inside what’s left of her love-tattered soul.)
Outwardly tilting her chin in a stubborn act of defiance …
Outwardly sneering at others’ vulnerabilities …
Outwardly sniping at those who get too close …
Like a cornered dog gone half-wild with fear.
(While licking at the blood spouting from wounds derived from new hurts)
(And wincing from scabbed-over wounds that never properly healed from old hurts.)
Appearing, to the world outside, as unyielding as the old oak tree that will outlive her.
(With a backbone that seemingly remains unbroken.)
Illusions used to prevent those with the power to annihilate the pathetic remains of her lonesome soul from ever discovering the elusive truths she carefully conceals from their prying eyes.
As best she can …
The only way she knows how …
(By cloaking herself within her self-made shell.)
While life goes on as usual outside the protective barriers with which she’s surrounded herself …
The chattering of lifelong friends
The romantic sight of a couple in the early stages of courtship
The clambering of feet as people go from here to there and back again
The noise of traffic as it speeds on by
The birds rustling and singing in nearby trees
(The mundane things in everyday life that slip her notice as she prepares to get through another day in her self-made hell.)