To Endure

An innocent request
to borrow a cell phone
addressed to a stranger.
Her final words
to someone who cared,
floating sound waves through
the warm autumn night,
marking the path
of no return.

A deadly reminder that rapists, murderers
don’t wear monogrammed sweatshirts
bearing their intentions.
Instead they walk with you, side-by-side
smiling, encouraging, chatting
offering the loan
the aid, the last ride
to the darkest edges of shadow.

Then terror.

The unimaginable realized.

Until the last breath.

Left alone among the fallen leaves,
a broken return to her beloved earth,
another feminine sacrifice
to endure.

For Michelle Gardner-Quinn