What The Judge’s Daughter Saw

What The Judge’s Daughter Saw

Torran McEwan


You hold lives

In the palms of your hands,

The creases are stained


Where the spot won’t come out.

I wonder if, like me,

You walk in your sleep.


I’m taught to see in black and white,

But in the small hours of the morning,

There’s only the crimson

Of sticky blood,

Leaking from the corner of her mouth,

Where the stick hit her.


I’ve seen juices seep

From your meat

When you bite.

You wipe it from your chin

With the back of your hand,

I see your palms.





Torran’s inspiration for the piece:


When looking at the Catherine Hayes Case in the Old Bailey workshop, what really interested me was the method of prosecution, and how little opportunity Catherine would get to defend herself. The Judge would have had dozens of cases to get to, and not much time to do it, so what kind of world view would he have had to develop in order to be able to deal out death sentences without guilt? The judge’s daughter, as an innocent bystander, seemed the best angle to explore this territory from.

The original case of Catherine Hayes can be found here


Recent Posts