Burn

As a child I never cried. Not when
I fell off my bike and skinned my
hands, or when the bus driver
was new and took a wrong turn.

We ended up miles from home.
Paula Jones made froggy sounds,
wet her knickers. The boys
laughed and stole

her specs. I didn’t cry then
or later, when mam threw
the kitchen knife at dad, the
big one. It hung in the air like

the Cheshire cat’s smile. I
fought and made the bus boys
give back Paula’s specs. Todd
Briggs gave me a Chinese burn.

My wrist still hurt when I picked
up the knife from the floor. My eyes
hurt too like they’d been burned.
As a child I never cried.

Burn

AlliD

Guide Post, United Kingdom

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