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A hard stare, unseeing but not vacant, I was just not on her radar today. Traveling daily from dawn to dusk, carrying her three travel stained plastic bags and wrapped as usual in a faded blue Mac and a tightly drawn blue head scarf. Silence seemed to travel with you, few dare interrupt your path. All keep their distance in case you challenge there comfortable life. It seems that life had pinched your sparkle, leaving behind a faint radiance to hint at what should have been.

I remember you as a pretty young thing, but even then your path had been turned away from societies excepted norm’s. You called on me to beg a kettle of hot water for your flask, then drifted away till another day.

Unseen by poets, now unknown by suitors, lost to children, lost to all, as you walk though this spring day. Yet the birds still sing and people promenade. I watch as an empty bench you find, then sit quietly, watching the day. So I fetch you a cup of tea, then a faint nod falls my way as you return to your world and I to mine.

Another day and rain cascades around you, as Autumn passes by, still you travel alone, never looking for acknowledgement, just ensuring that your next step is safe. For now a walking stick keeps you company, even if it seems unneeded. Is it a warning to those who stole your freedom, stole that promised family.

They took your heart when that shell exploded and carried your young man away. He is buried in a far off land, he never knew your kiss, and you really never understood that on that terrible day, death claimed a hold over you. Your life’s path was stopped that day and left unfulfilled, even though a lifetime still claimed you.

Belinda died sitting on a bench outside the hospital canteen,and place that she had never dared to enter since her incarceration in 1919. For it reminded her so painfully of the YMCA canteen where she had said farewell to Ltn Harold Standish as he waited for his brigade to board the train to Dover. RIP Belinda.

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