Poem: Nightwalk

Trigger Warning: Assault, Murder

In memory of Sarah Everard.

Breath by breath 
she counts, in and out
and thinks of anything else
tonight was a good night, overall

Step by step
the path she knew so well
was darker then, but the same danger
for threats persist without shadow. 

Inch by inch
the goosebumps ran
over skin he touched, before:
Sorry, I’ve got a man” 

A lie which lay
between scorn and escape, 
his eyes seared into hers, piercing:
Right, whatever, see ya later” 

Pick up the pace,
keys firm in hand
should a cat call need a southpaw 
only six more streets left.

Steps echoed to a rhythm
not of her own, for echoes of
sound and mind keep apace 
don’t look back, just go

but pace and path
catch up at last
and a laneway became a gateway
– exit, stage left. 

Rose by rose,
the petals fall
with heads down as her coffin’s laid low 

And yet, they’ll explain
instead of how he got away, 
that it was her fault, somehow,
she was slain.

Cork, 11 March 2021

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