Single Mum

I know I am
your single mum.
Your friends have
dads and you tell me
often, that
you feel like
a stranger in your
own social circle.
It must be hard to
be a leper in
a land of dual
parenting,
and paternal genetics.
Happy, wholesome
smiling family snaps,
when you live in
a testosterone
depleted zone.

It wasn’t always
faux joy selfies,
just the two of us.
Conquering the world
with our Colgate smiles
and mum-son
bonding.
Looking like
the world was made
for just us two,
and fleeting glimpses
cannot magic
fathers’ faces
on iPhone imagery.

I am not in
the land of
mice nor men.
If I could conjure up
the ideal role model,
I would paint your
life with
gentle men and
honest souls
and the heart of
a saintly martyr.
Knights fighting fearsome
dragons and
brave soldiers
(camouflaged anxiety)
dedicating their lives
to an ethical cause.

I cannot raise
fathers from the dead.
It is hard enough to
keep memories alive
when they are stored
deep within my mind,
and not yours.
But one day you
will understand that
once upon a time,
there were three
of us.
Not this brave
little duet.

Sarah Drury 2021

Easy

It is not easy
being so sentient
in an anaesthetised world.
I try and fold my feelings
into little origami ships.
Hope they will sail
nonchalantly into
a world where
life doesn’t sting,
anymore.

I can pretend it
doesn’t hurt.
Pretend I have a
heart of polished granite.
I can pretend that feelings
must only feel like
fireworks in the
new year’s sky.
That to feel is
to loiter somewhere
on a permanent,
spiritual high.

But I know
to be real
I need to feel
the stain
of salt kissed tears.
To sing the pain
as it washes through;
it never stays.
And I know I am there,
sometimes.
Origami ships are fragile,
and my skin is like
tissue paper,
and I absorb
the world at times.
And it can be too much.
Sometimes.

But,
it never stays.

Sarah Drury. 2021

Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh
on TV again.
Real people with
real lives.
Devoted husbands,
unemployed,
brewing tea
for working class wives.

The air is dark,
darker, darkest,
coaxing thinner, thinnest, thick.
Undercurrents
swimming like
revelations from an
emotionless brick.
Rich in mundane complexity.
Painting simplest simplicity slick,

with connotation.
Rare to see a
privileged education,
rattling amongst the
state school accents.
Real people,
real lives.
Car crash fortunes,
Scripted accidents.

Mike Leigh
on TV
again.
Real people with
real lives.
Living for the
in your face
realism.
Peddling pain
with the blades
of blunt knives.

Real people.
Real lives.

Sarah Drury. 2021