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This is an assignment that I wrote for a creative writing course that I’ve just completed this week. The course ran for six weeks and is with the University of Iowa. Its also free, and we studied the works and poetry of Walt Whitman. Whitman wrote during the American Civil War, and writes themes of loss, tragedy, trauma, death and destruction.Loved the course πŸ™‚

The constraint I used was to write just 10 words on each line; the topic concerned a news bulletin that was playing at the time of writing.

Child, Missing

It’s Monday morning, and the day has just started.

The alarm chimes and I glance out of the window,

The news button is turned on – a child is missing.

A sweet, five year old in a pink t-shirt

Denim shorts and pink shoes complete her ensemble. Blond hair

In braids, and a toothy grin stare at me, innocently

From the TV screen. How must her parents feel today?

The policeman’s voice as I make a breakfast and tea.

A crunch of toast and butter, as the sofa beckons,

I watch. The officer in charge looks worried, concerned, frowning

Under his peaked cap. Where can she be? He shakes

His head, as the cameras roll. Behind him, a crowd

Are staring, bewildered. Her folks are invisible, too traumatised, afraid

Of the news that they will receive. But still they

Hope. Fingers clenched together. That their little girl is safe.

Suzanne Bowditch, 2016

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