At the end of the street, the river


There’s a pool of blood at the end of the street,

Where droplets splash the dirty stone,

And memory drags from reluctant depths,

When shadows crept and evening fell,

The sound I heard and pushed away,

Of pain and terror, tormented dog.

The heart makes leaps and links the two,

The story glares from drying blood,

The trail of drops across the street

And down the path between the fields

To the riverbank where oblivion runs.

In creeping shadows, evil lives,

And crawling flesh remembers things

Eye never saw, but the heart still felt,

Death in a corner, ni vu, ni connu.

I find the place in the beaten sedge,

Where the broken barrier let them through,

To give the broken, bloody mess

To the all-embracing river’s arms.

And does it matter and do we care?

Is blood the same however shed?

An end to suffering when all is bled,

In the river running down to the sea.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

12 thoughts on “At the end of the street, the river”

    1. It is upsetting, even though the two events are unconnected except in time. The dog in terrible distress was very close to the house, but the place where I imagine some creature was butchered is a good five minutes walk away by the river. It doesn’t matter though. There was a lot of suffering going on in the course of Friday night and it makes me feel so sad and helpless.

      1. I’m sure there’s somebody round here raises fighting dogs. We hear what the kids call ‘the werewolf’ quite often. Not a howl of suffering like the screams of the other night, just a massive dog wanting to be let out. People are sick.

      2. Living in the city centre rather than a residential district, the population changes even within the same street. That’s why we live on our nerves. We can have perfectly civilised near neighbours, and a few doors away a psychopath or a family from hell.

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