If you are from the UK you will instantly know what this poem is about. 27 years ago 96 men, women and children went to watch a football match at Hillsborough football ground. They never came back.They were crushed to death, following some catastrophic errors of judgement by the police covering the ground. This incident was followed by a massive cover-up – lies and corruption coming right from the top. A fresh inquest has just judged that those 96 people were unlawfully killed. This poem is respectfully dedicated to the very ordinary families who have fought for truth against a very powerful system for 27 years.
The prompt today was to write a poem “backwards” – starting with the last line and working up to the first line. It’s a bit of a self-conscious way of writing, but what I started with reminded me a bit of how people who have experienced trauma describe what has happened to them – a bit disjointed, not necessarily making immediate sense. And so this is what I ended up with:
She’s waited for years
Straining to hear his key in the lock
She waited all night
Holding the pillow, as if it would help
She sat down on the bed
Her heart did a flip in her chest
The commentary changed
The match was just starting
She was stripping the sheets from the bed,with the radio on
She went back to her work
He went out of the door with a smile
Afraid he’d miss the coach
She was fretting
He kissed her goodbye in a rush.