Department store windows

Uzomah Ugwu

Circling the mall, out shopping

For a dream, instead of watching who was

Shopping for me, outside a department store window

A reflection did not present the outline of abuse and neglect that

I suffered at home, then the image blended with mine

He stood like my story was his to confide in

the nights When too drunk or just done with me

my father remained Unaware I had found

another man and one who promised

He wouldn’t hurt me like he would

 I could tell him my dreams and I did

The little that I had left

His promises seemed real

So off I packed with no looking back

Except at my bedroom window which was shattered and cracked

I was afraid that night of getting out

but upon his arrival his smile seemed to be in harmony

With the future, he promised me

With no face value doubts I got in and left

 Not knowing if It may be better than what no one should call home


Before sunrise I had a new image more grown up

He said it suited me better and for my Dreams

we never left for Paris or even out of the state nor was it even brought up

Deep in the city he drove me to a corner and told me to wait

Pulled out of the car in such a forceful hurry

 I felt my innocence lost again and again

I screamed and yelled but no one listened,

they barely watched like it was ok what was going on

then I heard another man’s voice,

as my man of promises voice who brought me here withdrew

he said I was his girl now and the car door

echoed so hard It blew off every dream I knew when it closed

he drove away with all my hope

now my body became a slum over and

over again for many men to occupy

the other girls said never to try and run

he would find me and make it worse

unable to find a sight of my past dreams

walking along these vacant streets

I went circling around the mall in my mind

And convinced myself this was my calling and what I deserved

I circled around the mall a lot in my mind

Looking on while my dreams disappeared

in a department store window’s reflection

Then I resumed being a lady of the night