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you’re alone now
little girl
and there’s nobody 
to save you
you said it yourself
you’re no damsel in distress
you need no knight to save you
no matter how shiny their armor

you were alone before
little girl
blue striped shirt 
tight across your chest
you couldn’t breathe then
you couldn’t scream if you tried
for all the frogs in your throat
you’d think a prince would come

you felt alone then
little girl
nobody to free you
from the metal at your spine
his arm at your back
that leer backed by a friend
whose laughs weren’t silent
nobody would see
nobody did see
the tower was too tall
the hallways too long
the staircase feels too steep now
the way you trudge up them
tread carefully
princess
for a broken shard of glass
may pierce your heart again
no prince charming
no fairy godmother
you have to save yourself

you weren’t alone after
little girl
there were people to tell
people who you didn’t want to hover
to swarm you
to never let you escape
so you told one
and she became your knight
your self-appointed shadow
that helped you
climb the tower
and even if she didn’t slay the dragon
she found the slipper that fit
you both

you’re alone once more
little girl
and her laugh isn’t there
to smother the silence 
that smothered you
and her sword isn’t by your side
to slay any of the dragons
still in their lair 
at the top of the stairs
and she didn’t knight another
to take her place
and you didn’t tell anyone else
kept your mouth shut as 
if you were gagged 
with a poison apple
like a good princess
so you’re alone again
little girl

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