Her surname was a synonym for brutal
It seemed apt.
Older – not by much
a policewoman in the life before this
used to remaining unchallenged
and having the last word.
The workplace as playground contest
some feel obligated
baiting, taunting, gibing
put downs – timing is everything
skilful and lethal
like fisherman executing trout
with insects betrayed as barbs of wire.
When tension had passed
and anxiety calm
a deft feint of her tongue
the beheading edge.
with the discretion of a scalpel
the promiscuity of a bomb.
Away from an audience
her back turned against bravado
was meek Helen
working hard – very hard, pumping up tough Helen.