The red pearl
I understood about the mouse. I hadn’t
thought it through, just wanted a pet.
On the way home he escaped in a shop.
The grocer caught him, brought him back
then Mum was mad. When Dad came home
he was furious. You’d think
I’d single handedly reintroduced
the Black Plague. I answered back, got a slap.
It ended at the chopping block, tomahawk
in one hand, mouse in the other
and Dad standing over, making me do it
myself. I felt the warm brown shaking
then it was done. One body, one head
one perfect red pearl at the nostril.