Breaking the Clock
by P.J. Holt

The mother cradles her daughter's head on her lap and picks tiny
glass shards from the girl's wet cheek.
The decision not to call the ambulance already made.
She's worried, though, that through streaky, mascara-tinted
blood, bad damage has been done to a lovely face, all twisted up
now from crying.  
No sound from the drunken, ranting husband, passed out
on an upstairs bed.  
Just sobs from an adolescent girl, caught kissing a boyfriend
past curfew.  Years later, the girl would learn to say:  
"Just because a father breaks the clock in his daughter's face,
doesn't mean he doesn't love her."

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