She did not like dark rain,
the scent of snow,
the heavy curtains blocking day’s light.

She wanted open windows. Freshness,
the breath of God and wind, autumn,
and, yes, she was grateful they had removed the mirrors.

Out of kindness, she thought.
These men were not given to sympathy.
Still, she could see the disfigurement of her hand

burnt black from fire administered as punishment
when she offered nothing but anger, rebellion,
a resistance she did not know she owned,

She wondered if her fingers would come back to her.
She did not know how her face looked,
did not want to know—not really—

and she did want to thank the men who had rescued her,
glad to be able again to soak in the silence of a new life,
sleep in her own bed alone, wake when she wanted to wake.

When they had bundled her in blankets,
she had to step over the bodies of all of her tormentors,
and join the other women in states of relief,

joy, exhaustion, a lack of reality.
If only they had let her pause one moment
so she could kick the main one in the balls,

That thought alone filled her with laughter
and for the first time since the end of her ordeal,
she placed her crippled hand against her cheek.