Written by: Bethany Chipperfield

Masked. Lips sealed, smile a frozen crack, marring the closed face, 
Cryptic whispers, they follow hurriedly, 
Curious glances my way. Over there is
Dad. Furrowed brow, burnt cheeks aflame, 
Do I ask? 
Am I guilty? 
Harsh shadows that loom from tearing wrinkles, 
Proof it is so. Smiles are rebuked, 
Gentle innocence torn in that bark, 
There is no laughter for the damned.

Slam! I am woken, the soft pitter of his fingers
Drumming on my door, he contemplates, 
Seconds seem to drag, the clocks tick slows, not quickly, 
Suddenly, he gushes and rushes, mouth open 
In a terrible embrace, flaming eyes burning my soul
As angry waves pound me. Relentlessly.
Shhhh…bulked arms surround me, wrap me, 
Keep me safe, crystal droplets rub onto my face
I’m sorry, he says
I love you.