Holly Magill – Nobody, of Rotherham

Nobody, of Rotherham


“There is nobody here,” he’d said,

the policeman, back then,

when he’d shoved her, naked,

to the wall at the side of the bed.


Dad always said to stay home,

especially on school-nights:

dark cars purred outside;

they wanted her,

said to come out,

or they’d see to her Mum.


At the arcade with the girls,

split lips braved in cherry gloss,

laughing like real women;

bruises shrugged

under glitter eye-shadow

and clanking bangles lifted

from Claire’s Accessories.


She’d suck down smoke to blunt

last night’s taste as they’d wait

for their men to come

with vodka and again.


It’s still there, ten years on,

her accent, old rust that muted

her tongue. Now the town

where she’s from is News;

suits at the council, journos,

righteous politicians

saying bad stuff

happened there.


But, it’s just a place.

Nothing happened;

it was agreed at the time:

“There is nobody here.”



Holly Magill writes in Worcestershire, mainly in a
darkened room with a tea mug at her elbow and a cat nearby. She has had
poems appear in several publications including “Ink, Sweat & Tears”,
“Nutshells & Nuggets” and “The Poetry Bus”.