Black Blood

by Peter Bradley

It is such a common occurrence that the eyes of others
slide over the sight of it with nary a question or raised eyebrow.
As if they know its origin and it’s not worth asking about.
A black blot, not unlike a scarlet letter,
a lasting reminder of how long it takes a thumb nail to grow.
So don’t ask.
But please remember.
Somewhere between the laying of the roofing shingle;
the holding of the nail; and the double bounce of the hammer;
there is always a deeper story.
It lies beyond the obvious pain and loss of memory,
and it is always inexplicably driven home with clarity.