Broken Wings

This poem is dedicated to anyone who has ever suffered with a mental illness.

I have two tattered wings
That sit like prayers
Upon my broken back
I thought I was an angel
But angels’ wings are usually white
I don’t know if they come
In shades of black
And I know I lack faith
I try to keep my eyes
To heaven in the sky
But my wings are too heavy
I try to help myself
To lift my soul, to fly
But each cloud is a traitor
Selling my sins for my lies
God tell me why
I am always falling
At the first demon?
Am I faithless?

I have two tattered wings
That sit like heavy burdens
Upon my fragile heart of gold
I’ve been trying
Not to sell my cut price soul
To the devil
Since losing my virginity
At seventeen sordid years old
I waited for Armageddon
But you pay for Heaven
In pieces of silver
Not in counterfeit gold
And my wings
Aren’t worth shit

I have two tattered wings
That sit like curses
Upon a mind of paranoia
And madness
I’ve been conversing
With the saints
If I say a prayer for a sick child
Will they take away this
Summertime sadness
It’s a bit late for me
For my shattered wings
To be made anew
There’re only so many things
These days
I can possibly do
Without going fucking
INSANE

But I’ll keep flying
Broken angel
Navigating those crazy skies
And I’ll keep peddling those
Happiness lies
Swallowing the pills I despise
And I’ll survive
On a wing
And a
prayer

©2020 Sarah Drury

Lithium Mum

I have bipolar disorder and anxiety, which pretty much rule my life. I am a widow and have a tweenage son, who has Autism. I know it is hard for him, living with a mum like me. I know I do the best I can. I like to think we are souls and he chose this life and it is part of his life path. It feels easier that way. But it is no excuse for a poor childhood, so i just try my best to keep things as normal as I can.

I am sorry for you, son
Sorry that
Each and every day
You have to live
Your fucked up life
With me
Your screwed up
Lithium mum

Necking bottles of
The good stuff praying
It is magic, mending
Melodies I’m playing
On a broken record
I’m just sayin’
There are
Nicer tunes

Mood swings
Psychotic blackbird sings
Are we up or down?
Is it smile or frown?
Are we Happy Valley
Or are we paddling in
The sea in sodding
Suicide town
Or is it a
One way trip
To the
Psych ward?

Every day I say
Today will be a
Better day
Son
and I mean it
‘Til the moods
Fuck up the way
I’m feeling
Brilliant rainbows
Slaughtered of their
Colours
Blackened tempers
Stealing
Cursing, crying
Screaming’s
Just my way
Of dealing

I will try, son
I will try

©2020 Sarah Drury

To the Kind, Mute Bloke

Dedicated to the kind, mute bloke who gave my son half his chocolate stash in the local corner shop.

I’d noticed you
Shining at the counter
Trying to appear as dull
As we were unpolished
It wasn’t the way
You couldn’t speak
With muted lips
But the way
You conversed
In synonyms
Of special

Sometimes words
Fall meaningless
Like sunshades
In the Arctic
And you didn’t need
Fancy metaphors
Weaved into
Articulate Soliloquies
To be heard

I didn’t want to
Be unkind
I had my own
Business to mind
As I loitered
Inconspicuously queuing
Maybe curiosity
Would be my undoing
Not knowing if
This immaculate being
Was deaf, dumb
Or blind

You didn’t say your name
Was kindness
There were no
Regal fanfares
No stench of ostentation
Love doesn’t need
Grand gestures
Vocal cries of salutation
When half your treats
You gifted
To my son
One tender moment
When love was the victor
And wars against
Humanity
Were won

And don’t you know
You lifted
My soul out of
The gutter
That day
I didn’t think
I’d ever meet
One whose words
Were cloaked in
Secrecy
Sheer volume is
No compensation for
Human decency

And my son said
It was wrong
Taking gifts from
A stranger
But I said
When I am there
You are protected
From danger
I hold my son’s heart
Like Jesus
In a manger
And we knew
We were
Looking
At an
Angel

©2020 Sarah Drury

I was Alice’s Aunty Once

When I was a teen, I worked in a home for the elderly. One of the old ladies had dementia…

Fourteen years old
And radiating a future
Of fruitful tomorrows
In this graveyard for
The not yet dead
With the old bones
Rattling around in this
Old people’s home
One ear on the
Monotonous drone
Of dead eyed visitors
And one eye on
The steady tock
Of the analogue clock
As death permits
A last cup of tea

They had memories – Once
But these were stolen
And minds were broken
Words come tumbling
Out like retrospective
Dramas spoken
Wartime lovers
Dancing with hope
This hopeless dance
With feet that may not
March next week
As they savour
The last of their rations

I was Alice’s aunty once
As I led her to her
Favourite chair
Skin so parchment thin
Her story was written
In the spiderlike veins
And downy hair
Eyes trusting as a child
That thinks it’s going
To Paris
But is cruelly going
Nowhere decent
Nowhere they could feast
On warm croissants

I wondered
Was this aunt
Loved
And hoped that
I could share a bit
Of my naïve heart
I prayed I could lovingly play
A nurturing movie star
In her world of
Broken dolls and
Tattered teddy bears
Where she was now
The child
And I, the child
Was now
Very grown up
Indeed.

© 2020 Sarah Drury

Bad Bottle Mum

I have only one child, and when he was born, he had breathing difficulties and was in the NICU for a week. I tried desperately for days to breast feed him, and nothing came. My baby was obviously starving and i decided to throw down the gauntlet and ask for a bottle. The nurses basically treated me like shit but my baby was happy, and we never looked back. Yes, breast is probably best, but we shouldn’t be made to feel inadequate it it doesn’t work out for some reason.

Bad Bottle Mum

I’m a bad bottle mum
I tried, my love, I tried
I held you close ‘til you latched on
But you cried for days
Little jewels of hunger
And frustration
You cried
Your rosy lips trying to
Suckle a miracle out of a
Dried up tit
My nipples were sore and cracked
As you latched your little jaw
And sucked
Like you’d never been
Fucking fed
And you hadn’t
My mammary glands were
Dead

I’m a bad bottle mum
The midwives said persevere
The milk would come
But four whole days
Of drought
And I had a newborn babe
With a nipple with nowt
Coming out
Who thought a tit
Meant starvation
And I had another tit that had
Shrivelled up in desperation
Nipples cracked and chewed up
Like an old dog bone and
I don’t like to moan
But I had a fucking starving
Kid here

After four days
I put my tits away
Asked for the bottle
Little old nurse with grey Hair
Gave me the
‘Are you a bloody idiot’ stare

I’m a bad bottle mum
That was when it started
The attitude, the negative cold
And frosty voice
The frozen, hard faced nurses
Thrusting tiny bottles of
Cow and Gate gold
Cos I was a fucking criminal
And no one told
Me it was ok
Cos breast is best and yeah, it is
But when the nurses are an army
And when your tits are traitors
And not
Doing their bit for the allies
When do you surrender?

And my babe did fine
He preferred the steady stream
Of liquid gold
To a titful of promises
Lies we were told
By the media
Progaganda
And he thrived

© 2020 Sarah Drury

Suckle

I was thinking about how wonderful breasts are. They nurture babies, look great on our chests, are soft and yielding to touch, take us back to our childhoods. They are a symbol of power, a symbol of comfort, a symbol of motherhood. They are fantastic!

Suckle

Come suckle
At my breasts
Feast upon
Tender nipples
That once beguiled
My hungry baby’s
Rosebud lips
My breasts
That once
Had aspirations
To feed
One of a nation
But my barren breasts
No milk would yield

Come suckle
At my breasts
Behold the
Soft, sweet flesh
That kneads like
Sweet, warm playdough
In a toddler’s palm
Tell me that
They possess
enchantment
Devour me slowly
Ease me, tease me
Free me
From my
Mortal shackles
Dulcify the stress
Release
Angelic devilry

Come suckle
At my breasts
Behold how fucking
Great that women
Have these awesome
Symbols of matriarchy
Women envied by
The ravages
Of patriarchy
Sexualised and
Victims of misogyny
Now standing proud
And rising up
The hierarchy

But what straight guy
Doesn’t want
To nestle in
A bosom tender
Inhaling sweet beJesus
Virgin Mary
Tends his
Comfort moments
Render
Memories
Wishing perchance
To slumber
Cossetted
Like babes
Nostalgic
Suckling at
Their mother’s breast
In blissful
Reverie

© 2020 Sarah Drury

Daddy

My husband died 9 years ago so not only was it my loss, but my 3 year old son’s too. He has never really spoken about his father before, it is as though he never existed at times, but the other day, when it was our 10th wedding anniversary, my son’s grief suddenly hit him and came out in a huge torrent of emotion. It was a liberating event for him, but devastating at the time, for both of us. I have written this simple poem for him.

To see you
Bleeding your
Heart out
There, son
With your tears
For daddy
9 years gone
His body now
Ashes in urns
Feelings exploding
In turns
of Rage
And sorrow
Crying for a father
For who there’s
No tomorrow
Holding hands
With thin air
Wish I could
Borrow
A future
For you
And daddy

You said you feel
Cheated
9 years passed
When you could
Have amassed
Memories
Moments that last
Forever
Rage
When you’re at
A stage
Going into puberty
You missed all that
Sitting on
Daddy’s knee
And I’m trying to see
How I can make
It up to you

I want to mend
Your broken heart
Fix the trauma
Of being apart
From him
From the man who
Was our rock
Who stood by us
Through thick
And thin
Who passed away
And could
Never say
“I love you son”
And you were
Too young
To comprehend
It’s sad that
Our love had
To end

All I can do is
Hold you close
Son
Salve your
Broken tears
Try to be the most
Empathetic mother
For there is
No other
Now
It’s just me
And you
So sorry, Kid
There’s nothing
On this Earth
I can
Do.

© 2020 Sarah Drury