Sorrel Soup by Paul Tristram

Aye, she came in here and sat down
in the back corner over there,
ordered a bowl of sorrel soup
with sliced boiled egg
floating in the middle
and a pot of Earl Grey tea.
Should have known
something fishy was going on
when Natasha the new waitress,
saw her take off her Wedding Ring
and bloody swallow it
along with her first mouthful of tea.
Then, a couple or three minutes later,
I clocked her myself,
pull a small, brown bottle from her handbag
and empty it into the soup bowl.
Of course, I approached her
and asked ‘if everything was alright?’
But, she merely answered ‘it’s flavouring’.
I left it at that, she’d already paid
and as long as she ain’t tea-leafing
the bloody crockery, no harm no foul.
Anyway, she collapsed an hour later
on the Main Road by the bus stop
right outside of Morrisons,
having some kind of fit or seizure.
Tyrone the Coalman
thought she might be epileptic
and tried to make sure
she wasn’t swallowing her blooming tongue.
But, she started vomiting,
pissing and shitting garlic-smelling blood,
all at the same sodding time, hell of a mess.
Yeah, in agony she was,
clawing at the bleeding pavement
and gargling and a-screaming
for her Grandmother.
What? Oh, I don’t know,
must have been late forties or there abouts.
As I was saying, you could hear her
all the way up here,
you know how the sound travels,
gushing with the wind up this road.
We shut up shop for half hour
and went down for a nosey gander ourselves.
Yes, Arsenic Poisoning, they reckon…
now, that’s not a pleasant way to go, at all.
Me, I’d rather be hit by a cowing car
any day of the week and that’s for sure.
Oh, it was so upsetting,
everyone there was in pieces,
they had to sedate young Sharon
from the Charity Shop, soft bugger,
well, you know how sensitive she can be.
All our hearts went out to the poor woman…
until later on when we found out
that when the police went around to her house
they found her three children dead in bed.
She’d only gone and drown them,
one by one in the bloody bath
before getting her bag and coming out herself.

Scribblings Of A Madman

Paul Tristram is a Welsh writer who has poems, short stories, sketches and photography published in many publications around the world, he yearns to tattoo porcelain bridesmaids instead of digging empty graves for innocence at midnight; this too may pass, yet. Buy his books ‘Scribblings Of A Madman’ (Lit Fest Press) ‘Poetry From The Nearest Barstool’ at And a split poetry book ‘The Raven And The Vagabond Heart’ with Bethany W Pope at You can also read his poems and stories here!


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