In the blink of an eye
On March 11, 2018

A day

A gift accepted


A bright spring day

A blue sky

A birthday for millions

But no-one you know


The diary page is blank


A free day

To do anything you choose

All is well with your world

Maybe not elsewhere

(Definitely not elsewhere

Headlines tell you that)

But let’s not concern ourselves

Just this once


You have no pain

(At least nothing worth mentioning)

You are feeling well


Happy even

You are thinking

Of places to go

People to see

Maybe a drink or two with friends

A laugh and a chat

It feels like a good day


What you don’t realise

Is that you are standing

In the centre of a storm drain

About to be engulfed

By a tsunami of raw sewage


The wave comes from behind

With no warning

It impacts like a runaway train

Knocks you down

In an instant

Rolls you end over end

Tumbling through the shit and filth


Battered and helpless

You are dragged

Down and down

It fills your mouth, your throat, your eyes, your lungs

You heave and choke

Gag for air

But there is none

Only dark and stinking, shitty, roiling filth


(The sun still shines

From that perfect sky

But not on you)


Instead you tumble

Onwards and downwards

Deaf and blind

Not swimming

Not waving


The bed is deep and soft and bitter

It draws you in

Holds you still

But does not let you drown

Not this time


Not this time


© Dave Hermelin 2018

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