Open scene, we begin, lights dimmed, back alley vibe, ominous.
Air thick with viscous mist, ambience anxious, overtone venomous.
A young woman walks slow, headed home, fixated on her phone
ambulance tones punctuate the foreboding sense she shouldn’t be alone.
Discounted high heels click, sticking slightly to flag stones, pace quickens accelerated heart ticking,
we feel her doubt, poisonous fear of this, modern Britain.
She cups her hands, lights up a cig, grabs a bottle from her bag, takes a swig,
tosses the empty plastic vessel to the ground where it sits on a bed of moss and twigs…
and hurries home safely, escaping the scene of the crime, unconvicted.
450 years later, a bottle lid chokes it’s 78th fish, last of a long list of murders unlisted.
I wrote this poem for an Instagram poetry competition. Each round contestants were given a prompt to write from, the first of which was this “last of a long list”.