Friday, 23 October 2020







I didn’t kiss him goodbye

I didn’t wave at the gate

I didn’t text him that day

I didn’t return his call

I didn’t know


My mistake

My guilt

My sin

My fault

My anger


It won’t leave me

I can’t forgive myself

My gravest mistake

Lies in the ground

Covered in dirt

Topped with grass

Weeds grow fast and thick

Hiding my longing

To turn the clock back

Reset the dial


I saw the tall black shadow

Ephemeral through the glass pane

The ringing of the doorbell

Boding of dread

Heart beating fast

Hands trembling

Unlocking the door

Collapsing on the floor

Screams tore through the street

My heart left my soul


How will I survive

Now he’s not alive

Carry on, they said

You can do it, they said

What do they know?





The night was dark, the road empty, an eeriness descended, a mist enclosed me, suffocating my mind.  That last joint was one too many.  I was happy inside at the party, my mates and my cronies all laughing, joy was in the room.  Then I decided to go home.

Now the night air fills my lungs as I scream in total disbelief.  The screaming and screeching of the brakes as I jab my foot down on the pedal.  I grip the steering wheel, tried yanking it to move out of the way but my mind wasn't clear, my eyes deceived me. 

It was only a shadow.  A trick of my mind.  Seeing shadows in the hedgerows as I sped past.  The white lines in the middle of the road guided me.  All I had to do was keep the wheels in the centre of the road.  It wasn't far to get home.  Five minutes at the most. 

Something was up ahead, glaring lights, space orbs coming at me, right at me, glaring in anger, hurting my eyes.  I squinted, raised a hand to shield my retina from the brightness of the light. A strobe effect blinded me, I trusted to instinct.

My instinct was wrong.

So wrong.

So very, very wrong.

Squealing of tyres, grating of metal on metal as two solid shapes entwined, twisted together, crumpled beneath each, rolling over and over, making me dizzy with vertigo. 

A few moments of silence.  Blessed silence. 

Reality hit.  I’m upside down in my car. Metallic sounds pinging, pricking my consciousness, desperately trying to make sense of what had happened.  What had just happened.

Fumbling with the seat belt clasp, clawing my way through the air bag, wrenching open the car door.  I staggered on to hard ground.  Blood poured from my head.  My hand hurt, my head hurt, my legs were like jelly.

Car headlights showed a tangled mess. 

I saw a man, not moving, still, static, stationary, inert, inanimate.

 Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!

Staggering and stumbling to the other wreck, pulling the mobile from my pocket, with trembling fingers I dialled 999.  Stammering and stuttering out that I needed help, the calm voice in my ear telling me to take a breath and tell them what had happened and where I was. 

A few seconds or minutes, or hours or days later it seemed, sirens screaming, blue lights flashing, illuminating the road and verge. The Police, Fire Brigade and Ambulance services all descended on me, hulking masses of bodies came rushing towards me, at me, bombarding me with questions, wrapping me in a blanket, then strong arms leading me away. 

I tried to look back. 

I didn’t want to look back.  

I couldn’t look back.

Carnage everywhere. 

Blood everywhere. 

Noise everywhere.

Twisted, tormented tubes of metal entwining together, two cars entangled with each other, blue and red flashing lights making the situation so surreal.

It wasn’t worth it.  I’d taken a life.  Not just one life.  I’d taken him from his wife, his children, his parents, his friends.  It should have been me.  If I was going to be so reckless, it should have been me, not this stranger who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.


My mistake.

My gravest mistake.

I walked away.

A scratch

A bruise

A sprain or two.


One man gone

Forever, no more.


How can I live?

With what I did?

It was fun at the time

I’ve committed a crime


Not only in law

In my heart

That still beats

Hard and strong

I did wrong

So wrong.


I wish I could turn back the clock.

A 6’ x 8’ oblong concrete block.

Is how I spend my time

For my entire lifetime





Late leaving the office

He had no sense

Of what was to come

He just wanted to get home


Make up to his wife

She was his life

He couldn’t live without her

It was such an inane row


He looked down on his wife

Alone now in her life

He wants to be with her

Comfort her

Wrap his arms around her

He smells her perfume

Like flowers in bloom

He tastes her salty tears

Wishes they had more years


He feels his essence disappear

He tries to draw near

Her eyes are glassy

She glances bravely

In to the sky

To say her final goodbye

She can’t feel him

His light grows dim



I can’t believe you’ve gone

It was too soon

Too sudden

To depart

From this earth

From this life

I think of you every day

In many ways

In my periphery

I see you

I remember you

A few days have gone by

I haven’t cried

The tears will come

At home

On my own

Suppressing the feelings

Touching on nerve endings

A sound

A thought

A song

A phrase

The silence is unbearable

The bond unbreakable

You are gone

It’s too late

Word count: 964


  1. That's very sad, and very engrossing. The way you write really pulls the description into life. Or in this case, death.

  2. Mesmerizing. The prose part, too, was very poetic and picturesque. I would love to come back and read again.

  3. An intriguing format. I loved it and I was really engaged in your tale. Thank you.

  4. Hi Sally - very powerful poems, descriptive stories of life as it does happen ... so well written - very succinct too ... I could certainly visualise the horror and feel the loss. All the best - Hilary

  5. Hi,
    A powerful testimony very well written against drinking and driving that destroys so many lives.
    Shalom aleichem

  6. A powerful story of loss, tragedy, and regret. Your poetry and prose mingle seamlessly together and allow the reader to feel many emotions. I can't imagine it would be easy for anyone to get over taking someone else's life, but it happens all the time. I like that your protagonist recognizes the life lost, as well as the family left behind. Wonderful entry.

  7. Very powerful! I loved your technique of showing each character in verse. Such a horrible loss and for what, a little fun. Such a shame, but it happens every day. Well done!

  8. Hi Sally.
    Your poetry and short story are well written and full of emotion. I was drawn in and stay in for the whole of it. Bravo!

  9. Sally, your writing here is so emotional and engaging and I'm sure reflects real events in life. Her regret for her grave mistake. His regrets. The sad end. Using differing points of view really expanded your scope. I thought your prose was spot on.
    An awesome entry for GRAVE MISTAKE, Sally. Kudos.

  10. This is such a powerful story of regret and loss, and it's as important a message now as its ever been. A night of fun can lead to a lifetime of regret and pain if we aren't careful. Reckless decisions can indeed alter lives forever. Well done!

  11. What a beautiful, poetic story. Loved the cascading perspectives. You just never know how one event can affect so many lives.

  12. Very sad how the reckless action of one person can end up being catastrophic for another whole set of people. Emotional and engaging entry. Liked the intertwining of poetry and prose. Well done.

  13. Beautiful combination of prose and verse Poetry with these conflicting points of view. Wonderfully paced Sally.

  14. Beautiful combination of prose and verse Poetry with these conflicting points of view. Wonderfully paced Sally.

  15. an engrossing tale that seamlessly merges prose and poetry. Well done.

  16. There are a lot of things that I did in my younger years where I'm lucky I didn't kill myself or someone else. Driving drunk or high is always the wrong choice. This piece is very well-written.
    ~Cie from Naughty Netherworld Press and Readers Roost~