(23 August 1868 – 5 March 1950 / Kansas / United States)


One night, believing myself big enough,
I crept out of bed to neck my Father's mouthwash.

The mixture ripped my throat,
Leapt from mouth and nose
As bottle dropped,
Upended across the lino. I gasped

Then moved; Fearing discovery, I stuffed toothpaste,
Talcum powder, Head and Shoulders, Calpol,
Pills, Savlon and bleach into the bottle,
Then shook it till it settled almost exactly as before.

Later that night, as I lay awake in my bed,
I knew that when my Father drank it
He'd drop down dead.
And knowing the smack I would get for owning up,
Still I made no sound; just welled in the dark
At how diluted I was
when held up against him.

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Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken

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