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A. S. Ford


Carbon-dust, smeared body paint
small, skeletal bodies; pale,
leaning on the pony carts,
            hunched over.
Earth crumbles under metal claws
as they listen to the canary’s song
and prepare for the stampede  
if the tune ends. 
Wide pupils shrivel to pinpoints
wind stings their throats
as they clamber from the tunnels
into clean, cold air.
In 1842 they are allowed to leave
but the damage is done
lungs gnawed, scratched,
            drowned in blood.  
The Unknown Woman of the Seine
You were found in the river …
an immortal, sleeping beauty 
who paid a small price.
Now, your plaster cast eyes are shut
beneath a smooth, pale forehead
and sculpted eyebrows.
You were pulled from the river …
            and the case pleads murder
or some other wrong-doing
but the smile on your
child-like face says:
don’t worry, I was happy.
You were missed by the river …
Resusci Anne, the most kissed
face in the world, and yet,
breathless you remain.  

A.S. Ford grew up in a small village within the countryside of Buckinghamshire. Since moving to Cirencester three years ago she has completed a Creative Writing degree at the University of Gloucestershire with two poems published in The Dawntreader and one in the online magazine: I Am Not A Silent Poet. She lives with her fiancé, their pack of dogs, and pet rat.

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