Her chest hurt. A lot. Too young for a heart attack. Not enough food for indigestion. She laid a hand over it, gingerly, as if her ribs might break. She fell hard on her bottom and a sob escaped Like the cry of a wounded beast. So wounded it stopped the world as she sat, airless and afraid. Fatigue fueled her spirit. I’m tired I’m tired I’m so tired, she cried. Get Up! Roared the beast. Get Up! And there it was, a great wounded beast towering above her. Get Up! It bayed. In terror, her fatigue forgotten, she launched herself up to run And just before she did looked up into the eyes of the towery beast and saw Herself bloodied and broken hurt and alone awkward and desperate angry and afraid. The deeper she looked into the beast’s eyes The more she understood her fatigue And so she howled at it as loud as she could. The beast, never having been yelled at before, reeled in surprise, paused, and then yelled back with all of its anger-filled might. And so there they stood, The woman and the beast, oval pointed face to mighty great belly Roaring at each other until Mother Wind and Father Lightening joined in the chorus and laid a litany of sound across the earth. They stood like that for an age. Until her fatigue dripped from her like rain, falling off in great sheets of wet relief. Until the beast’s anger consumed itself, and wounds closed up like a flower at dusk. And all that was left Was Me.