He spat the words. "Go get it." I approached tree-fringe and felt The willow, green and supple, Lay knots across my knuckles, My throat a knot of guilt. I've forgotten what misdeed Left me standing blank, My father at my back, His breath as loud as bees. I returned in tears and dread. The willow-wand I held Waved more fishing-rod than flail Passing hand to hand. I determined not to flinch, Not to give my Dad an inch. I thought only of the flensing switch, How it would lay into my fear And tear. And tear.