It’s always when my back is turned. I’m at my desk –
a hollow thump, palm on back, her echoing rib cage.
I turn, grab my son’s arms. I want him to confess.
‘It was an accident,’ he pleads. Always too late.
I drag him down the hall, he’s not yet dressed.
‘I do not want you in my house,’ I rail.
Outside the front door, he peers through the letter box.
‘It doesn’t hurt any more,’ his sister says, peering back.
I think – I’ve done it now. Bare-chested, no socks,
he’ll run away. They whisper, laugh and chat.
While I’m yelling ‘you’re nothing but a bully’
she’s calling his name and posting through the keys.
Kate Hendry‘s poems have been published widely in magazines, such as Agenda, The Rialto and The Manchester Review. Others are forthcoming in various magazines, including The North and Gutter. Her first collection will be published by HappenStance Press next year.