A Wigan teenager has written a poem describing her first hand experience of the Manchester Arena bombing.
Jessica Fisher penned the personal chronicle after being at the Ariana Grande concert on May 22 and seeing the terror unfold.
The poem, called The Dark Monday Night, details the stark contrast between the elation of the concert, to the sudden horror of the explosion which killed 22 people.
The 14-year-old said pouring her experience into the poem helped her come to terms with the dreadful night.
She said: “I decided to write it because there was a lot of emotion inside and I just wanted to get it out.
“I did it in sections, starting with building up the excitement and the anticipation of the concert. It has helped me to cope a lot with the emotions.”
Jessica, a pupil at Shevington High School, described the confusion and shock in the moments immediately after the bomb went off.
“We heard the bang when we were walking out. As soon as we got to the car, we saw the ambulances and the police racing past.
“We didn’t know what had happened, but I knew it was something bad. One my of best friends was also there and she thought there had been a shooting.
“When we got home, we put the news on and as the night went on, we saw people were being announced dead. It did take a while to sink in.”
Jessica’s mum Emma had taken her to the gig that night, and told the Observer she felt lucky her daughter didn’t go through what so many others did.
“I’m lucky that she didn’t have to see what others saw, the devastation and the blood and the injuries.
“It’s been terrifying for her to think this happened at somewhere where she was. But it’s not going to stop us going to other concerts.”
And whilst Jessica expressed her support with a poem, Emma showed her solidarity by joining the thousands of people who got the Manchester Bee tattoo, saying “I got it to remember how lucky we were that night.”
Part of Jessica’s poem reads: ‘We woke up next morning; Hoping it was all a dream;
How can you wake up when you barely sleep; We put the news on they said Twenty dead and still counting; We will never forget what occurred that night
It was supposed to be fun not a fight to survive’.