Her tongue is a beak, pecking at the crumbs of the mistakes she sees. Arrive late. Peck. Forgot my book. Peck. Poor grammar. Peck. Untucked shirt. Peck. Looking the wrong way. Peck. The skin of my torso tightens, ribs forget the are there to protect me. Peck. Talking too much. Peck. I didn’t say anything. Peck. Get out and stay out.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

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