and fall with her stuttered breath.
The tears I’ve seen before don't fall.
They don’t exist. Not anymore.
The grip around her throat tightens.
It does exist. Always.
No words come—but thoughts scream.
I watch her will herself to breathe—to gain control.
Her breathing slows,
and I see the red welt across her face
where his words had landed…
“It’s ok. You are not hurt. He cannot hurt you if you don't let him,” I whisper.
She doubts me.
I turn away.
“Don’t go,” she whispers, reaching out to touch the mirror.
The grip begins to loosen.
She knows what she has to do.
A Mississippi native, Mary Roberson Wiygul has taught in the public school system for over twenty years. When not teaching, traveling, or spending time with her family, she loves to write personal essays and short humorous memoir pieces, but she also loves to showcase her serious side through poetry. She is currently a feature writer for Southern Sass Magazine, and her work has also been featured in Southern Roots Magazine, and on HumorWriters.org.