Tarnished Tiara

Her zombie steps shuffle along streets and alleys,
hair knotted and matted in unintended dreadlocks.
The cracked husk of her tarnished veneer reflects,
momentarily, in a boutique window and catches her eye.

Startled, she stares.

She glimpses a forgotten piece of her former self
beyond the plate glass. Flickers of another life
glint like sunshine on the glazed surface. Her
eyes close against the brightness.

A businessman in a navy suit, talking on his phone,
bumps her out of her reverie. He hurries on
without a glance, like stepping over dog shit.

She withdraws,
a hermit crab sliding into the safety of her shell,
disappears into her invisible life, slinking
along the streets.