Bloodline

Streaks across a porcelain sink;
my father swears at the blade
in the bleeding towel.
He stands before a mirror,
face silvered with soap
while I blanch at carnage
in the small kitchen.

The Ascot roars in my head,
fragments of voices, images.
Mum tuts in her pinafore,
comforts me with toast and tea.
Alone, dad curses the shaving mug,
nurses his thimble finger,
scrapes at a half-stubbled jaw.

It’s his fault, of course.
As always.

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