The Commons Falls Silent – Kathryn Alderman

The Commons Falls Silent

The Politician lists this year’s killed women
we count what we care about
offers up their names as though each
is a guttered flame trying to re-ignite.

The Honourable Members listen
in silence to the phantom pleas.
Some weep, imagine them as fireflies
wafting through dusty light shafts
to petition their MPs. Others
practise forbearance, think
of sponsored victuals and banter
in the Terrace Bar, nod appropriately
awful business –.

The names stack, form a coalition,
occupy vacant benches to demand
a yearly reckoning for killer men,
for them not to wander unattended,
for ring-if-you-feel-murderous helplines
perhaps, or tabloid scoops re-purposed
Femicide’s a Men’s Issue Shock!

Year on year their insistence soars and falls
on the living, and the living slough
them off like old woes. Year on year
their numbers swell and overrun
The House. They count their worth,
the answer is silence

Kathryn Alderman is widely published in magazines, anthologies etc., she’s read at live events e.g. the Cheltenham Literature and Cheltenham Poetry Festivals. She’s an ‘ancient’ Masters student of Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Gloucestershire, working on her first pamphlet. Twitter: @kmalderman1    Insta: k_m_alderman   

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