The whole world was in her hallowed hands.
Her golden tresses touched the towns with holy blood,
her platinum smile offering them protection
from the snakes and the sinners and the drunks.
All the same, she forgot herself and
eager for a meaty chunk
they sunk their daggers in.
The pain of the poison twisted and tortured for years on end
‘til she was headless, hollow-boned, lost in feeble fury
and it tore out her heart and left her for dead.
When will the fading flock forget?
And now she lies in state, blunt scythe in hand,
waiting for the world to slake her thirst.
Drowned in a deathless lake she makes her last stand,
a brazen smile rising from the foam, drawing
pictures of dead flowers in the sand all the while as
the women chant she’s home, she’s home, she’s home.
Charlie Bowden is a student from Hampshire, England, who discovered a love for writing poetry in lockdown after spending years studying it at school. His work has been included in collections by Young Writers and the Stratford Literary Festival and he won the 2021 Forward/emagazine Creative Critics Competition.