R.A. Zafar

Bitter Pill

Have you got a tight grip?
The ancient face with Einstein hair shakes
a filthy bag, and repeats –
Have you got a tight grip?

Why did I take my headphones off?
Why did I let him see I’m alive?
This is what happens.
Those people see you.
But already I’m thinking –
this’ll be a funny story.

I step back.
He reaches into his bag and produces
(Gun! Knife! Acid! Somethingbadnotthoughtof)
a small medicine bottle –
it shakes in his frowning fingers.
Have you got a tight grip?

I twist open the child-proof lid,
he grabs the bottle and swallows his pills.
He steps back.

I’m quite safe you know.
Oh I know. I wasn’t worried.
I live just there.
I wasn’t worried.
Son not arrived yet.
I’m quite safe.

I don’t mind, I try to say –
glad to help!
But I know he saw my first face.

R A Zafar is a UK writer, born in
the south and raised in the north.
Five years ago she attended a creative
writing course for the prose elements
but she was bitten by the poetry bug
instead. She has always loved
studying and writing poetry but that
initial course inspired her to be
more serious about this passion.
She hones her poetry via courses,
online poetry critiquing groups and
endless drafts of poetry – continually
striving to capture those perfect,
illusive words.