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Knife Angel

Knife Angel
Iona Mandal

You were balancing on a knife edge Like a tightrope
Trying not to fall beneath
In case the daggers awaited
To pierce your back

Your mind often flashed back
To the metal scrapyard
You visited
To atone
About your hands moving in too deep Below the victim’s skin

The junkyard haunted you
For endless days
And nights
The Knife Angel staring down at your sins

Every speck of blood Stained on the metal edge Every drop of platelet lost Scarring permanently
Her angel face

Tonight, as you rose
From the unlocked, open gates Of the same metal scrapyard Recycling ‘stainless’ steel knives And tins for cars

To drive home
In your second hand car So did the man beside you Stuck in traffic jam

But neither of you knew
Whether your car
Evolved from a disposed tin can
Or from a mangled, weather-beaten knife Marked by the smell of bleach
Washing away, the sins that killed The Knife Angel.

Inspired by The Knife Angel created as a National monument against violence and aggression at the British Ironworks Centre, Oswestry, Shropshire. The 27 ft high sculpture by Alfie Bradley with 100,000 knives surrendered and collected in nationwide amnesties in 2015/2016 is a memorial to those whose lives have been affected by knife crime.