30
 
They are twenty nine.
Some with children of their own.
Some having travelled;
seen and done.
Some never left town.
Never will.
 
I see their names
in a list
I keep by a book
tied with red ribbon.
 
Her page said
she had two sisters
and a baby brother.
She liked to write stories.
Was embarrassed by the burn
on her right hand - it had left a scar.
Wanted to be a hairdresser
when she grew up
 
but she was a Lenten lily.
A name in a register
 
crossed out.

Shadwell is a school teacher who lives in Dunstable. His poems have most recently appeared in Butcher’s Dog, Prole and Picaroon Poetry. He also sometimes appears in pubs, clubs and coffee shops performing them.