You were born on 5th July
The love child of a South Wales miner and a Wren
A birth at home,
the midwife on her bike got there to catch you, just in time
Briefly stuck, but all ok. The birth went well.
You told me Gradcha paid the doctors extra
not to intervene
To wait and see. The child was better than they’d thought.
Your early years were happy ones.
Affection, hugs: some teething pangs, a few tantrums, but nothing much
12 dreadful weeks. A scarlet fever ward. With no parental visits.
In your mid-teens
the Pill came in
and not long after, shocked; your first abortion. Not really choice,
could you have done; you were so young, so poor, so green.
Then golden years,
You set up home, learned fast, worked hard, laughed, loved, conceived,
all out-of-wedlock, more than you could raise, but still
We did all right
you managed fine
Look after the pennies, make do and mend, try harder
So we did
though looking back i don’t know quite how we coped so well
In 1988 you split with dad
You lost your stamps, your pension book. And after that, it wasn’t ever quite the same
it was a forced and awkward pairing. You told me. “Not your real dad.” But he was, to me
At 49, you said,
let’s do things right,
and bring your brother home from Shenley. A family belongs together.
But it took too long.
He died in there
Its Cinderella nurses scared to tell the boss,
my brother’s fits unnoticed til it was too late.
Then rebound, but affairs
Are fun to start with, flowers, meals, a Tory boy.
So when we warned you to be wary of false words, fake smiles and cash
“You’re jealous, pining for the past, move on.
Bygones must be bygones”
Yet still you came
when I had the babes.
Always there. Still there for me, and for our little ones.
The midwife said she needed you.
Maybe… though Alan wasn’t good, we’d cope.
But anyway, you were still Mum
Replaced by one who tried
to drive a wedge between us, to stir up rows. We’d never really fought
But suddenly, we could not stop, whilst he sat back
and smiled at our dismay
came and went
Quite fast. A massive party, celebration of your life, such fun, so great.
It felt as if it were a wake
And then we saw your pain,
as you blew out your candles. All 65 of them
We noticed then
how thin you were, your fear.
Of him, of course, but also something more was there
To find out more, to help, but you refused. I’m fine.
Life’s fine, don’t worry, nothing’s wrong.
In 2012 was signed
and then enacted. Welfare, finance, he’s in charge.
Six years are gone, but still we try. we are your kids
And he is not your next of kin,
he’s not your lawful husband,
not our dad;
Not even a friend. So we will not give up
Quite yet, although it’s clear
you’re getting closer to the end.
I see you signing up for things against your will
upset, distressed, misled, your assets sold.
In danger, harming others too. Betraying daily what you once held dear.
Your essence there, but you feel absent, gone.
Not lost. Aphasic?
or a shadow; not your normal self, Locked-in. I wonder
if we could get you back,
Or act in your best interests.
Your good name should not be trashed,
it means too much to us. And we will guard its meaning, come what may.