The Nail File
Customers screamed in terror as a man
“ran amok” armed with a metal nail file
at an upmarket London hair salon,
a boutique which counts amongst its clients
a TV chef and an EastEnders actor.
The stylist from Lithuania, called Ted,
spotted a 21-year-old who kept
walking in and out, behaving oddly.
He burst into the Muswell Hill salon
following Ornella, the manager,
into a basement store room, and she screamed:
he grabbed a metal nail file and attacked.
People started screaming, one of his friends
came inside, smashed into him and made him
drop the nail file, put him down on the floor.
A group of his friends tried to restrain him,
there were six guys controlling the one guy:
they held him on the floor for 10 minutes,
the windows in the salon going ‘bang bang’—
Manager Ornella was petrified:
“It was frightening when it was just him
and these six massive blokes covered in blood.”
The police arrived, drove the man away.
Taken to a North London hospital,
he was medically assessed, a spokesman said.
There were no further injuries, he said,
just a disturbance on a hot spring day—
a piece of news like many we have read
about someone whose mind has gone astray.
This is London, this could be anywhere,
this is today but could be any time,
a sudden bout of uncontrolled despair,
the unexpected turn from life to crime.
We hardly ever pause, reading the news,
to ponder the value of each event;
page after page, the paper we peruse—
We spend the time, relax, and we’re content.
One little tragedy will go unseen,
missed in the limbo of the day’s routine.
Note: I wrote this a few years ago, as an exercise in found poetry (the first part,) recycling (not necessarily iambic) pentameters found in an article in London’s Evening Standard. The original article can be found here. Then I added a sonnet as a comment.