Claire Keyes

Happy Valley



I don’t want Catherine to die,

blood on her face, covering her forehead and chin,

her nose spouting blood.

Is she breathing?

If she’s on the operating table,

she must still be alive. She’s still attractive,

but not flashy, not sexy, just doing her job.


Going down into the cellar, freeing the hostage,

ripped into by the psychotic man

who plays the rector in that other BBC series,

but not like this, not Catherine, blood-spattered,

so close to death she must be able to smell it,

dark, clammy, cold as a rapist’s heart.


She lives, her spleen removed.

Depressed. She’s depressed.

The psychotic killer is on the loose,

determined to see his son, her grandson.

She has to survive, has to defeat him

before he kills again.

Oh Catherine, please be continued.

Claire Keyes is the author of The Question of Rapture from Mayapple Press and the chapbook, Rising and Falling. A second book of poems, What Diamonds Can Do, was published in 2015 by Cherry Grove Collections. Her poems and reviews have appeared in Literary Bohemian, Sugar Mule, Oberon, Crab Orchard Review, Blackbird, and on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac. She is Professor emerita at Salem State University and lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts.



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