I knew that she was there

in the flat

above the nondescript shop

that door at the side,

twenty nine


knew she was in there

and that she pressed down the bed

a chair

touched handles

make - up

a mirror looking back


I knew these things

and that when she was quite ready

would be through that door

to the left or right

heel turning

smoothing her dress at the hips

checking tiny things

like being ready for the world,

I knew these things and

would know more. 


A nasty business this one

she died of asphyxia

chest compression

signs of petechiae

no marks on the throat

he must have been a sizeable fella.


I reckon she must have known the ropes

how to please a man for money

got caught up the way many do.

Must have been pretty

before this.


Home all alone


They check her phone

back at the station

usual procedure

alert forensics

relatives to be found and told

as the vital organs of justice

start to unfold.




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Sat 24th Sep 2016 11:42

Thanks Stu, a sense of location and dislocation is just what I was after, well spotted. Sorry you lost that comment!

elP I'm pleased you felt an impact - a bit out on a limb for me. Thanks.

David, that's a fine point about the professional view of such horrors; do you develop a separation of emotion, I couldn't really say. I just wanted to highlight the regret and the waste.

Suki, I read the JCC poem and I get your point ! There is a more florid context and that really fleshes out the theme, that is wonderful poetry indeed.

Harry, thanks for making that observation. I don't go in for that treatment as a rule, but it seemed to serve a purpose. Exactly the separation of personal and professional I was after.

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Harry O'Neill

Fri 23rd Sep 2016 20:55

the logic of the typographical `shift` works better than most.

(I reckon because the left one is personal while the right one has a feel of reportage in it)

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suki spangles

Fri 23rd Sep 2016 18:05

This reminds me a lot of a John Cooper Clarke poem "Midnight Shift".
Thanks for sharing.


Fri 23rd Sep 2016 00:24

Wow, Ray..this gave me a chill right down to my feet when I first read it. And, "vital organs of justice"--that's a tight analogy.


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Stu Buck

Thu 22nd Sep 2016 21:37

i like this, especially the use of colder language in the second sequence denoting the sterile way her death is treated. i had written a huge comment about this, then lost it for some reason, so i will end by saying its a fine piece of writing.

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