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Terry Collett


A Deep Down Dread.


Shlomit sat
on the corrugated roof
of the pram sheds

gently kicking
the heels
of her battered

black shoes
against the brick wall
and she told you

her mother wore
more makeup
than usual to cover

the bruises
her father gave
but don’t tell anyone

she said
I’m not supposed
to say anything

mother said
you know
in case he hears

she mouthed off
to neighbours
you said you’d

tell no one
looking at her
beside you

her hair pinned back
with grips
her thick lens

spectacles
blowing up her eyes
her black skirt

and stained blouse
with the plastic
necklace you got her

from the fairground
around her thin neck
you’d seen her old man

crossing the Square
some nights
three sails

to the wind
singing sometimes
cursing others

and one day
you saw her mother
black of eyes

and spilt of lips
carrying shopping back
from the shops

you don’t wear make up
you said
guess he leaves you alone

her eyes looked away
her drowned kitten
perfume took

your nose
and as she moved
you saw the bluey

green skin
on her upper arm
but you knew he did

the screwball
talked with his fists
if his words failed

but Shlomit said nothing
of that she talked
of her wedding day

when she grew up
and how many kids
she’d have

and she having
a white dress
and a big house

although you knew
she thought it
even if

it wasn’t said
that her future husband
maybe like

her old man
or maybe just
a deep down dread.

Submitted: Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, July 17, 2013

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