she keeps her façade up as long as
possible, only letting it fall when
she's alone and no longer vulnerable
because she's learned that vulnerable
is the worst place in the world
and the hardest to pull out of.
her rope simply isn't long enough
to climb away from there yet so
she waits and hides and hopes
that no one happens upon her
to stare at her like a zoo animal
in the bottomless cage she stays in
yet doesn't know the territory around.
she's made tremulous efforts to feel
her way out blindly to no avail
as you can't walk a minefield without
knowing where the mines are
or dying from the effort.
and there she is, still thinking of herself
as strong when perhaps she's been nothing
but weak all along and everyone
knows it but doesn't tell her because
they assume she knows it, too.
so in the end she grabs her rope and starts the climb
with no idea if she'll succeed, or just
more likely fall back down again
at the beginning with no end in sight.