In the spirit of “I Am Not A Silent Poet”, here is a space you may put your responses to the Sarah Everard case and that of Sabina Nessa, whether poetically or prose wise or artwise. You may send your responses to me anonymously, if you wish.

Whatever Happened

-Val Bowen

After the Late Train (Chiswick, 1970)

And you walk home
Under the A4 subway
Cos there’s no other way

Footsteps behind you
Might just be someone homeward bound like you
Or maybe not

When you increase your pace
Their pace quickens too
And your heart quickens

Don’t turn round
Don’t look, keep walking
Out the other side now

Street lights. Houses.
No sound behind you. Maybe they’ve gone
Don’t turn round

Car door slams and engine starts
Drives slowly. Doesn’t gain speed
Slowly, slowly, just behind you

Will it be a chat-up line?
Rehearse your clear response
Or will you just be grabbed?

Check houses for friendly lights. Run up a driveway
Any driveway. Safe haven. Heart pounds.
Stand on step. Turn round. See the car speed off
Breathe. Knees bend. Stifle sob

Outcomes to think about
As you continue on your way
You can stay home and let the fear win, or
You can prepare, with alarm, pepper spray, knuckle duster rings
If you knew where to get such things.
What you can’t do is tell your story
Because nothing happened
Except the pounding of your heart
And the taste of blood in your throat as you ran.
Nothing happened.
This time.

-Amanda Samm

Bios and Links

-Amanda Samm

has lived in South Yorkshire most of her life  except for a short time in London in her teens.  She has enjoyed writing poetry from a young age and has self-published three booklets, the most recent being  a poetry booklet recording her experience of the pandemic.
Amanda is married with three children and six grandchildren.
Amanda enjoys sudoku, crosswords, pub quizzes and karaoke. Since retiring, she has taken up acrylic and water colour painting, as well as spending more time in the garden.

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