The sun shone again and lit her up. The warp, the cracks, the peel, all standing proudly, surrounded by dancing dust motes. She held her own. No apology for who she was. For who she had become. Battle scars were for glory, she did not claim them.

Hers were batter-scars. The elements had come for her. She had not asked to be spared. Standing still, she watched as they fought their battles. Some shrapnel came her way. Everyday shrapnel, nothing to write home about. Who would she write to anyway? She was home.

Time had passed by her. She pretended not to care. She did not mark it. It marked her. Little by little at first, not even visible. She shone, her smooth skin glowed in the sun. A little bump here, a little crack there. It unraveled so slowly that nobody could even tell when it had changed. Time, it worked slowly and she was undone.

Some called her brave. But that is all she knew. To stand and hold her own. She did what she was supposed to do, day after day. She was still strong, and useful. She was needed. Even desired – but you had to look at her with a fond eye. She knew she still had some who did.

She trusted them. They would come to heal her, warts and all. She would shine again, hold her own among the brash new lot. They may be younger, but she was sure. Sure of what she had been, sure of what she could be. She had seen the worst of times, known the best of them.

Her smile, when she did, contained the world. She did not smile often, but when the sun shone on her, if you looked past the cracks, you could see the warm smile, waiting.