she often glimpsed the shadowy feathers behind her
in the corner of her eye.
just barely out of sight,
but always there.
in the back of her mind.
unscrupulous. cunning. patient.
a flutter here or there.
an occasional peck or scratch.
but only rarely.
never revealing his true power.
his power to compel her weakened spirit,
to deceive her credulous mind;
to make waste to existing wounds of her heart,
scavenging what few slivers remained.
the raven didn’t recognize she was a phoenix:
but repeatedly restored.
never unphased, but more vigilant.
not undamaged, but fortified.
her own brittle feathers a little more flame resistant.
whatever was necessary to survive.
to wake up just one more day.
to see the light of one more sun.
to take in the wind of one more breath.
only to be burned one more time.