Father

My father was
an accountant
Man of many vices
But he loved us
to the grave
Coffin in the flames
I waited for a phoenix to
emerge
But got Pompei

Juggling booze
and fags
and indiscretion
Libido painted
as a female fuck
Alibis weaved like
religious confessions
sliding off a
secular tongue

Thirty three years
gone by
History repeats
like an acid reflux
deja vue
And they say
my son needs
a father figure
And I say
fuck the patriarchy
I am all the man
he needs

©2020 Sarah Drury

Mother is a Hustler

My mother
Would be Virgin Mary
If she had blue robes
And a school nativity baby Jesus
And a halo
Half price
From the dressing up section
In Tesco
And on her age worn face
Is always worn a smile
As valuable as the Mona Lisa
With NHS teeth

She has no notions of grandeur
And no one is beneath her
Her kindness knows no perimeters
And if Jesus
Had been wandering
Our beaten tracks
He would’ve been
Out of a job
And signing on
At the DWP

She serves burgers
For the big Maccy D’s
Tomato ketchup with a side
Of joy on your cholesterol fries
It gets her knees
But living off her pension
Gets her pocket
And eBay is so addictive

She plays the saints
At their game
She was dealt a shitty hand
But holds those cards
Like a seasoned hustler
And when her time comes
I know she’ll
Be showing God
The true meaning
Of love

©2020 Sarah Drury

Dandelions

I sat and watched you in the garden
This morning
Your lips like fairy kisses
Blowing those dandelion seeds
Like scattered, forgotten dreams
Some victories, some near misses
Your little face like peach fuzz
Your glistening cherry pout
Poised to whisper those innocent wishes
Within and without
A wish for a promise
And I always promised you
Love

Boy, we have had our battles
Time when Fortune thought
She’d overdose us
For the adrenaline thrill
Maybe a lifetime sentence
With a mother like me
Was overkill
But hey
It’s character building
Watching mummy meltdown
Maybe pop a pill
Or plot ourselves in a movie

Maybe your wishes will be
Bigger than us
Maybe you’ll skip the mental bullshit
Get your ride in a limousine
Rather than catching the crazy bus
Maybe you’ll dare to dream
Where demons fear to live
For son you deserve the light
You put up with some shit
And I don’t know
If you’ll make it big
But I know
My love for you
Will always be
Bigger

© 2020 Sarah Drury

To the Misogynists

When I had a lengthy spell in hospital, many years ago, I was very poorly. I was on what is known as a ‘one to one’, which meant I had to have a nurse with me at all times. One evening, whilst sitting in my room watching TV with the staff nurse, he turned around and said to me, “you know that people like you should never have children, right??” Those words really hurt me and he should never have said that. I am now, many years later, mother to a son with Autism, and although i have times when I struggle with my mental health, my son has helped me stay as sane as I possibly can because I am all he’s got after his father died. He keeps me strong, and was a turning point in my life after many years in psychiatric hospitals.

I wrote this poem about the nurse’s cruel words.

Just because
Mental illness blights
My fragile mind
Just because
My soul travels
In divergent dimensions
Gives you
no fucking right
To play God
Or Hitler
With my right to
Bear child

Casting aspersions
Of prejudice
You broke me
May as well
Rip out my womb
And gift my ovaries
To the mentally stable
Yet barren

Mothers are born
Not made
Merciless are your
Arrogant aspersions
As callous words
Plummet in placentas
Of castigation
Blood staining
Your misogynist shoes

My right to
Bear child
Never smashed by
The patriarchy
Will be

I pray the vitriolic men
Within whose care
Rest women vulnerable
And broken
Embrace humanity
Whilst the tongues
Of those ridiculing
My maternal potential
Are bound in
Repentance
Regret
and
Retribution

©2020 Sarah Drury

Childline Lockdown

With the Coronavirus lockdown, children are at even greater risk of abuse. This could be emotional, mental, sexual or physical, but a lot of the reports the NSPCC are getting are related to emotional abuse. It is proving harder for social workers to gain access to homes due to lack of personal protective equipment, social distancing and lack of staffing.

NSPCC can be contacted here:0808 800 5000 or via help@nspcc.org.uk

Here’s a poem I wrote through the eyes of a victim.

Childline Lockdown

I don’t know what
I did wrong
Cooped up
24 hours a day
Radio blaring
Incessantly
Happy people singing
Bullshit songs
To people in
Their bullshit lives
Abusive husbands
Battered wives
Shit scared kids
As tempers fry
And swift fists fly
And I swallow all
My tears
Cos if I cry
He will get angry
Again I’m
In enough
Fucking pain

I have a friend
I call him Ted
He’s been with me
Since I was two
Keeps the monsters
Out from under
The bed
Soaks up the blood
When my dad
Sees red
But it’s the monsters
In the daytime
I’m really scared of
I call them dad
And mum

Social workers
Knocking on the door
But mum knows how
To play it
Long sleeves
Hide the bruises
Walked into the door
Hit my head
On the table
So careless
One day I’d probably
End up dead
Social worker suspicious
But dad always says
I was clumsy

Ted understands me
I can tell him
Anything
When dad is
Screaming
Temper raging
Ted helps me to sing
Over the Rainbow
If I had a phone
Then I would ring
Childline
But it’s the fists
I fear

And it’s a long time
Till I am sixteen
Then I will tell
Them all
To fuck themselves
That day I’ll
Be queen
In my own kingdom
And there’ll be no
Fists for bombs
No ‘what did I do
So fucking wrong?’
And I will shine
That day
Like a
Rainbow

©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