Copyright 1994, S Hartwell

It's so easy for people to vanish without trace - some never reported missing. A number of people, equivalent to the population of Aylesbury are now classed as "missing". In an age when many people do not even know their neighbours, only complaints of foul odours alert the authorities that yet another person has died - alone and unmissed.

In an underpass close to the trains,
The police find some human remains,
That for weeks undetected had lain
Until someone complained of blocked drains.
They'd been there all summer, now its the fall
Did nobody notice, nobody at all?
Did nobody miss him, nobody care
Does his passing mean something to someone somewhere?

Was he somebody's father, lover or son,
Surely he meant something to someone.
His passing went quite unremarked,
Left a hole in nobody's heart.

Under the brazen streetlights,
She's selling her body at night,
Barely sixteen and she's on the game,
Spending the money on crack and cocaine.
She's selling kisses and thrills,
But its not just diseases that kill.
She's somebody's daughter, turning tricks in the night,
Selling lust on the corner beneath a streetlight.
Does nobody miss her, nobody care
That somebody's daughter sells herself somewhere?

In the night somebody screams
Wakes terrified from her dreams
As under the car park she tries to sleep,
Amongst human jetsam, between garbage heaps.
Her father abused her, mam turned a blind eye,
She jacked in her schoolwork and slipped out in the night.
The heroin keeps nightmares at bay,
Gives her courage to face the new day.
If the needle don't get her, someone else might,
Leave her wretched and ragged and cold in the night.

Does nobody miss her, nobody care,
That she lies awake in cardboard city somewhere?

Pinned to the police station wall,
A missing persons roll call,
Has nobody seen them, does nobody care
Have you seen their faces, haunting somewhere,
Do they sleep under arches, are they living elsewhere
Or just human flotsam found washed up somewhere?

They all stare with haunted sad eyes,
They never even said their goodbyes,
Maybe nobody loved them so they've gone elsewhere
Started new lives and found someone to care.
Or maybe they pass unknown from this life,
Somebody's child, or husband or wife.
Maybe they mean so little to someone somewhere
That they bow out in silence knowing nobody cares.



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