Unsolved by Matt Duggan

I still can hear those small footsteps
among the slate caves and snuff mills,
twins playing in a valley of madmen
death a curtain that never quite closed.

They were babes in the wood
the locals say they were taken by the devil,
a small hand found in short laps of red water
like twins of Ophelia; only a hospital gown from the local asylum

soaked at the bottom and weighed down
with bones of dead sea horses,
it was sixty years today that the twins went missing
while the devil washed their bloodspots from his tail.



*Unsolved is based on the true events of siblings Royston and June Sheasby, who went missing on Thursday 20 June 1957, and were found murdered two weeks later. The murders became the subject of one of the biggest police investigations the country had ever seen – with a mental institution at the focus of it – and 60 years later it remains unsolved.

Matt Duggan’s poems have appeared in several journals such as Osiris, The Dawntreader, Ink, Sweat, and Tears, The Journal… Matt won the Erbacce Prize for Poetry in 2015 and in 2016 won the Into the Void Poetry Prize. Matt has two new collections due out this year,
The Feeding ( San Marco Press) and One Million Tiny Cuts ( Clare Song Bird Publishing House).


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