I used to know a young girl
who wasn’t afraid of anything.
She held her head up high
and walked gracefully through adversity.

She had an inner strength 
that outshined all of her doubts. 
Her smile, like the sun 
warm and full of light. 
She used to wink at me 
from behind the looking glass 
and I loved her.

I look for her now sometimes, 
but she seems to have been gone 
for far too long. 
Instead I am faced with the reflection 
of a woman I do not recognize.

She is frightened 
and the weight of her world has taken it’s toll. 
She is far too serious for laughing games 
and her smiles do not come easily.

I am afraid she has scared my winking friend away. 
Wait, what’s that I see? 
A glimmer of something familiar. 
She is there after all, 
waiting patiently for my return.

She stands tall and proud, arms outstretched 
reaching for my heart. 
Your journey has been long 
and your pain has been great, 
she says with compassion in her voice 
and understanding in her eyes, 
but you have returned to me 
and I will never leave you again.