Two paths beckon me home,
but I always choose to turn left.
A preference formed by a voice in my head,
that tells me I will be safe.
Years pass, my route unchanging,
escorted by what? suspicion?
I can see down the road where the other kids go,
a passage that leads to a park.
How unthreatening it seems and my paranoia misplaced,
I quiet the urge to turn away.
Curiosity compels me to walk right,
but instinct tugs me back.
I trudge forward, my body leaden,
slowly shuffling…dragging my feet.
My eyes wander, my focus is uncontrollable,
looking ahead, glancing back, searching.
There is something familiar about the curves of the road,
that leaves me feeling nauseated.
I can’t breathe.
Cringing at every sound,
I shrink beneath my clothes and fold inward on myself.
I hug my stomach with a shaking hand,
I place the other over my heart.
After counting to sixty,
I finally uncurl my spine and lift my head.
A swing set.
“Shhh…be a good girl for me.”