The tree in front of my house drips leaves
So red they’re almost purple, hanging
Low like they’re filled with the juice of a ripe
Plum, and ready to drop to the ground
With a fat thud.
A thud, like the sound of a bottle,
Thick glass tumbling off the table and not
Breaking. It rolls across the hardwood,
Waking the dog, who jumps up in fright,
Nails scratching the floor.
A scratch, etched deep into my arm, from
Shoulder to elbow, from where mom tried to
Grab me as I pushed past her naked, staggering
Bulk. It hurt, but I didn’t look. I ran outside, into
The dawn, and only then noticed
Blood, dripping down my arm, dripping red,
Like the wine from her lips at dinner, at breakfast.
I trip over my own feet, but keep moving up the hill,
To stand with the other kids. I turn around and can see
That tree, sighing and shaking, from the bus stop.



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