See the lone figure with furrowed brow pressed
against cold glass, fist clenched upon her lap
while early summer flashes past in all its glorious bluebell blue.

Listen to the clackety click, clickety clack of steel on fiery steel
and the thump of her valiant heart’s quickened beats
as she wrestles with her fears, steeling herself for her intended act

and she will always act. Peep over her shoulder as she scribbles
this message to her sisters one hour before
she will step out, flags in hand to face the charging horse.

Read the answer to the haunting question,
did she intend to sacrifice her life that day?
She writes, ‘I am prepared to die, but do not mean to

I am a socialist, a feminist and Christian and will not waver
from the fight. These flags beneath my coat will fly today
in the face of King and Queen and rich and powerful men

proclaiming to the world that we will win the vote
for every woman, though some may die in battle.’ The paper falls
unseen, and drifts onto the track as she leaves the train
at Epsom.

Dru Long