The counting.
I love it.
I hate it.
He thinks it lets me take more.
He’s right.
When I know I only have to hold on until he says ‘5’
I persevere
over panic.
I barely register the first few.
1 then 2 pass
but strike 3
where he hits the same bit
is the hit that
registers his voice.
The rhythm
The count.
I’m not sure
I can take more
It’s always hardest strokes when he counts
I suck in air.
Hold on
squeeze tight
and wait.
l scream, wail, sob, shout
let out
the relief
that it’s done.
until the crop rests
on a different place
and the count starts again.
for pain.