That Red Mark
In the middle of the night.
In the depths of the country.
In a nightmare of pain.
In the middle of the war.
She woke to a large and
painful abscess on her gum
and one pressure swollen
cheek closing one eye.
In a crevasse of pain she
lit the lamp, held the kitchen
table, smoked a cigarette and
cried as loud as with she dare
with sleeping children overhead
As waves of pain reverberated
‘round the room as she took
a darning needle in one hand
and a small mirror in the other.
Then the needle to the flame
and carefully she pushed the
red-hot tip into her cheek.
The needle through her cheek.
Until the pressure cried.
Until the war was over.
Until the lamp reverberated
‘round the world.
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