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Love’s Like That

by John Stocks

Ruth Ellis

Ruth Ellis was the last woman to be hanged in Britain; for murder, after a tempestuous marriage to a violent husband, on July 13, 1955.

A slow-burning flux of clichés,
a struggle for a word,
a disembodied phrase
that says it all
until you can imagine the slick smile
on the face of God.

For years you walked the crooked path
long after midnight, face to the rain,
and passers-by would assume
an underlying sadness,
a tragic history to exhume.

It was neither wrong nor right,
a complex tapestry
of conflicting emotion

From the first flirtatious tribulations
to the death rattle of your dreams,
a roller coaster
or so it seemed.

So why did you put up with it:
the lashings and the fury,
the wrath of his cruel hands,
when nobody heard your screams?

Nobody heard your screams,
and still you gave yourself
body, soul and mind,
skin and flesh and bone,
past, present future.
Love’s like that.

Copyright © 2010 by John Stocks

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