Red Alert

by Katie Willy

Crimson sinew of pummelled raspberries

And bittersweet citrus Squished and Oozed

To a sticky vibrant pulp

Glugs out of the carton marked


The juices rise to the rim

Slip down my throat;

I can feel the sharp tang fester and bloom

Tantalisingly sweet

As the pith sinks to the bottom of the glass.


A midsummer haze later

And the Man and his autocue inform us

Of the car bomb in London.

He tells it like it is,

Black and white characters on a changing screen

The time, the place,

And that they didn’t go off.

Yet everywhere the nation freezes –

Then sighs as it melts back into lukewarm normality

Because this is reality

And in reality

These things never

happen to



But at the back of the mind

The suppressed fear of a nation lingers

As I decide I’ll have water, not juice, today.