Eye lashes caked with dust

and tears, booted feet forward step

leaving behind the years

she stayed;

she survived.

Throat burnt dry, lips parched cracked

she struggles on, skin slick

with grimy sweat, a drop of which

makes a slow descent

down her neck;

down her back.

But those lips stretch, break

into a blood specked smile,

freedom refreshing her like a balm

(the day too hot for breeze to cool or calm).

Few plants might take sustenance now

from the parched earth, yet for her –

woman buoyed by new-found liberty –

this near-desert landscape an oasis is,

for she is finally free.