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The Law Of Statistics

The Law Of Statistics

(for Sally Clark 1964 – 2007)
by Eveline Pye

You, Sally Clark, solicitor,
discover your son, Christopher
dead in his Moses basket. Harry, born
a year later, dies in his bouncy chair.

Paediatrician for the crown,
Sir Roy Meadow, tells the jury
two cot deaths in the same family
would occur only once in a century.

Odds are one in seventy-three million,
lower than the lottery, beyond all
reasonable doubt. An easy decision:
You must be guilty.

At Styal Prison, the horde screams,
Here's the nonce! Die woman, die!
They bang on the door, clamber up,
gawp as you cringe in a holding cell.

At the second appeal, your body
is free but your mind has crumpled.
You drink until you die, 
your third son, left without a mother.

I tell this story to my medical students,
show death by natural causes
was more likely than murder.
Silence

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