Our eyes cannot see
through the polished cufflinks 
and clean underwear put on that morning;
over the same legs that walk past you
and sway in the train when it breaks;

the same arms that hold groceries 
and hand them over at the till;
the usual pleasantries made with the cashier
whose body is later found in the field.

After reading this article written by the husband of a woman who had been murdered, I have been thinking about the topic of ordinary killers. I’m not beyond imagining that we’re all capable of extremes of harm and violence. However, I wonder how it is that there are ordinary men who walk among us, who put on their clean clothes, take transport, buy groceries and – at some point in their existence – take someone else’s life.

It’s gendered manifestations of such ordinary violence that bothers me. And that in many instances the perpetrator is often known by the victim. And, indeed, by a wider community in which they both exist.

This is not a cheerful topic, and not one on which I wish to dwell – least of all write poetry. But it’s a situation in the world that’s really on my mind.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill 
Facebook: BeadedQuill 
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness

Published by BeadedQuill

Author of over 300 poems, also books, essays and short stories. Published in the Johannesburg Review of Books, Carapace and Type/Cast. BeadedQuill's titles are for sale via Blurb.co.uk

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