She knew the names they called her.
Never to her face, but muttered and whispered.
The more waspish in the harbour called her “uncan” –
meaning “from another area”.
All the names they used reinforced that she was a stranger.
One kept at arms length.
Her looks betrayed her Nordic heritage.
Long, straight blond hair hung like a curtain
in front of her face, hiding her pale blue eyes.
Not that anyone ever looked her in the face.
The yellow light streaming from the window drew her forward.
The warmth of the light in strong contrast to the cold and grey outside.
The grey that had become her companion, her life, her bed.
Hugging the shadows she edges forward, not wanting to be seen.
Feet that had long since lost their feeling shuffle forward.
Numb fingers stretch out.
She edges closer to the glass.
She wants to look inside but not to be seen.
To be an invisible witness.
On an island midst the sea she stands.
Around her the blue-grey labyrinth of
walls and gates extend.
High walls that all but exclude the sun.
Deep shadows do they throw.
There are places where the sun cannot shine.
The chill of these places reaches to her bones.
She pulls her cloak tighter.