sheena blackhall

(18/8/1947 / Aberdeen)

The Lost Soul


Suburban West London's Mortlake neighbourhood
The occasional jet roars past to Heathrow
A pleasant place, quite free of crime and congestion.

And then a lost soul fell from the sky like Lucifer
Thumping onto the sidewalk of Portman Avenue,
Close to the Variety Box(a convenience store)
An underwear boutique,
And a Chinese shop selling herbal remedies.

Early risers walking their dogs
Assumed he’d been mugged, or struck by a passing car

Others had heard the unusual noise on impact;
Opened their doors on a badly battered body
Sprawling there on the flagstones of their street.

Police quickly established he’d died en route from Angola
And dropped to earth when the landing gear was opened

‘To think that the end of the line for him
is a suburban street, miles away from his world.’
A woman remarked.

What was he running away from?
Why ever did he choose there?

Angolans laid flowers in his memory
(Even though no-one knew him)

The bouquets were swiftly removed
So as not to set up a site of unwanted pilgrimage

‘Is this about the man from the sky? ’
Asked a woman, of a reporter. ‘That was my house
I don’t want to talk about it.’

The lost soul was unavailable for comment
Shedding no light on his presumed effrontery
In choosing to die on a British suburban street
Where he had, it was established, no right to be.

Submitted: Sunday, January 05, 2014
Edited: Monday, January 06, 2014
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