A Chain: Fifth German Spy

Posted by ractrose on 4 May 2020 in Art, Poems

Pastel drawing of glass-eyed assassin




The Folly

The German Spy





A Chain


A woman who has done no wrong in life

Leaves her front door

Leaves it to decide, as objects can

To click or slam…in its own good time

Skulduggery in mind

Discounting nursery crimes…her guvie’s frog

…indeed, to a helpless thing she’d once been cruel

Fiona feels a genuine sorrow

I ought to have kept well away from the pond

Let nature breed and sing and die

Unmolested by a spoiled child


She is on the sneak today

With Simon’s marble in her pocket

And down the drain she means to drop it

But he is dead long since and by rights

Simon must go away

No, dear, she tells him, under breath

I don’t, and I shan’t, and it’s all no use

Why stick at an argument neither of us can win?

She bends

A bobby bustles up. ‘Ah, madam. You are the one, I see. Lost this.’

He fists across a thin, thin chain of brass

On which a tiny pendant swings

One of those foolish things, a mustard seed, encased in glass


‘Why,’ she begins, and absent, then, ‘How kind…yes…thank you.’

Fiona Tattersby has faced down ghosts

And pitied them and mollified their torments

To say she dreads a thing, feels horror

She must be speaking of the tedious unbeliever

One query more from a sceptical reporter

But her eyes, darting in embarrassment

Had seen an invitation to the duel




A Chain

Digital drawing of notepaper with doodles of house and telegraph linesOnly One














(2018, Stephanie Foster)




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