The Question of Consent, by Angi Holden

I am not a silent poet

As she shivers in the interview room,
images of his attack still assaulting her senses;
as she sips the tea, too hot and sweet
but standard issue for victims of rape;
as she hides her bruised limbs
in borrowed clothing that doesn’t fit;
as she waits for family and friends
to arrive, to tell her she is safe now;
just then she is given a form to sign.
Permission to access all records and data,
pertinent to the case or otherwise,
is required to enable investigation.
Consent to a mobile strip-search,
to facilitate enquiries.
Angi Holden is a writer and Creative Writing lecturer, whose published work includes poetry, short stories and flash fictions. Her story Painting Stones for Virginia was a runner-up in the 2018 Cheshire Prize for Literature. Her poetry pamphlet Spools of Thread, won the inaugural Mothers Milk Books Pamphlet Prize.

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