I’ll remember the cheap clock always,
ticking off the letters of the law;
the leaf-shaped stain on the chair,
the probe of the sergeant’s voice.
I hid my face like a child or a dog,
ears listening regardless.
Then the tape’s click: your broad hand
shivering above the statement.
It had rained when we came out –
the Derwent black and nearing flood-mark.
You said he’ll be free ‘till he dies. The bastard.
I swallowed, turning my eyes to the wind,
needing the bad man’s heart
to be weighed against the feather –
for somewhere to be safe, or sacred.
Kitty Donnelly’s work has previously been published in Acumen, Mslexia, Quadrant, The New Welsh Review and many other magazines and journals. In 2019, she received a Creative Future Award and was Highly Commended in the McLellan Poetry Prize. Her first collection is due from Indigo Dreams Press in 2020.