fall 2018 / Poetry 2018 / volume 49

The Dead Woman of Baker Street—John Grey

The cop discovers
her seated in her kitchen chair,
head drooped over,
hands draped at her sides.
Her coffee is half-drunk and curdled.
Her last cigarette is nothing but butt and ash.

She’s been living in that same old house for years.
Never married. No family as far as anyone knows.
When the cop peered through the window,
she was already a week into the next life.

She’s carried out on a stretcher.
From house to house,
the eyes of the neighbors are out in force.
None of them really knew her.
They called her a recluse
and left it that.

Now they wonder was it her heart
which leads to concern about their own hearts.
And could she have been murdered?
Her corpse owes them the truth
so they can all sleep soundly going forward.


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