I knew it was coming. For months I watched as one by one, those around me left, leaving huge holes, figuratively and literally, where they once stood. One by one, they all fell down, violated and stolen, taken without permission, used. I would watch and wonder what happened after they fell, the journey they took, how their fate ended. I hoped. I hoped that they would find peace, that no further harm would happen to them. What could I do? I was stuck here, powerless, waiting.
Each time they entered, I wondered if it would be me. I watched, quietly observing as they marred what was all that I knew as my life. The green was slowly dying, being replaced by a dense sunlight, a wilting brown, spaces of nothingness in my community that once was not there. As I watched, I waited. I wailed inside seeing the others go, but felt enormous relief that it was not yet me. I knew though, that one day when I saw them come forward again, it would be me and there would be nothing that I could do but surrender and accept my fate.
Over there, the empty space to the right of the poison ivy, I remember when she came. I had been here about three years. I watched as she blossomed, as she grew. She was one of the first to go. It seemed like a crime, really, her being so small. They didn’t care. They had no discretion. They took whatever they wanted, ravaging, stealing the souls from this place, not giving it a second thought. Up a few feet, that one hurt. He was there near the beginning. When I first came, he welcomed me, protected me. As I watched them take him away, I had to close my eyes. I couldn’t watch. I couldn’t. Now I wish I would have so I could have seen him, just once, to help me be strong.
And now, here I am, alone. No one comes and goes anymore. They have all found shelter somewhere else, being scared off by the noise, by the barren landscape, by the change when change couldn’t be afforded by anyone. I stand here, tall, reflecting. Sometimes the worst friend you can have are your thoughts, racing, taunting, leaving you feel even more alone.
I stand here and wait, knowing soon, it will too be my time.