Keep your balance and your wits grasped tight. Knot them between your fingers like purse straps when the street empties to darkness and even the lamplight does little to chase away shadows. There’s no rescuing dignity if you spill, heels caught in the rickets of this ladder we’ve built from the bones of those who wept behind closed doors. Emotion would prove them woman and that was weakness, still is in the eyes of some. So the weak gift their spines and prayers, hollow themselves into armour for the next generation, and the one after that, in a desperation that they will be the drop that tips the scales to even.