shrapnel

when you broke my heart
all those years ago
I swept up the shattered pieces
in silent fury
while you looked on

away from you
I buried the pieces
deep inside myself
to keep them from harm
and the silence fell away

now
I realise
that I missed one shard

it lodged itself
inside you
burying between your ribs
working its way in deeper
with time

my only options
are
to dig it out
with my bare hands
pushing muscle,
bone and organs
out of my way

or
to leave it where it is
slowly burrowing
further inside you
until it lodges too deep
to safely
remove

Paula Harris

Published in a fine line, NZ Poetry Society journal
December 2014