Two Wonky Wheels

I grew up on a council estate in a deprived area. We didn’t have much, but we were happy, and we made the best of what we had. I had a wonky old bike which I thought was the business! It inspired me to write this spoken word poem.

Two Wonky Wheels

Two wonky wheels,
clattering over dirty pavements.
Muck covered, muck covered.
Grimy hands,
grimy knees,
grimy faces,
market clothes,
kids in droves,
snotty nose,
Ken Loach prose,
playing on the council close
with their car boot sale toys.

Two wonky wheels.
Buckled like my affluence as a kid.
Fags in the gutter, fags in the gutter.
But I didn’t give a shit.
What you don’t know,
isn’t in the conscious show.
We weren’t fancy.
But the wheels kept turning,
the kids kept learning,
the loans kept sharking,
and I wasn’t yearning,
for a life I didn’t know.

Two wonky wheels,
and no iPads, no iPads;
no posing lads
on Instagram.
No girls with fancy iPhones,
no parents taking extortionate loans
for their little darlings’ Xmas.
No Facebook,
no Instagram,
no Twitter,
no Tik Tok;
no screen time ending
when the clock
said two hours up,
now knock it off,
or I’ll ban it.

Two wonky wheels,
and we fought over marbles;
Action man, Action man;
Kiss chase AND –
the odd fumble behind the
derelict land
on the building site.
Giz a fag,
don’t tell yer ma,
have a polo
you nicked from the spa;
you came in when the streetlights
danced with the stars
and you travelled by foot
and not by car,
for your parents weren’t
minted.

Two wonky wheels,
two tired legs.
Oily ankles, oily ankles;
Didn’t matter to me
that my street was the dregs
of my council estate.
Cos we were content.
All the comics I lent,
all the cops who were bent,
all the errands I was sent
for my parents;
twenty Benson and Hedges
and a bottle of pop
to keep the kids happy.

And we WERE happy.

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

CoronaKid

I was thinking how hard it is for our kids at the moment, having to be locked away constantly, hiding from an invisible enemy. Their whole world has been turned upside down! My son has it especially tough as there are only the two of us in the house and i suffer with bipolar disorder and anxiety issues, and he has autism and challenging behaviour so it’s like a pressure cooker at times!

Here’s a poem I’ve written for spoken word, seeing life in Coronavirus times through his eyes.

MILD SWEARING

It’s a bit shit
Couped up
Coronakid
Walled up in a council tomb
Tempers flaring
Like a pressure cooker lid
Wishing there were dos
Which don’t
Which must
Which can’t
Which didn’t
Which did

Walls seem scary
When your life is really
Coronation Street
Without a plot
Hours which seem
Like days
Which seem
Like years
Which seems
Like concepts
That I’ve not yet fully got
Mum’s ready to blow
I’m really so, so worried
That the going’s
Got so hot
Feelings churned
Around like
Psycho soup
In a perpetual
Emotional boiling pot.

No school
No mates
No welcoming
Playground gates
But then I hated school
Mum tries her best
But she’s not
Getting rest
Her moods are
Tending to be
Hot not cool
I give her shit
Because I’d rather sit
And waste
My days away
Fuck this home ed shit
School’s bollocks
All I want to do
Is fucking play
But all my momma
Has to say is
Do your bloody work
Or there’s
No PlayStation
Today

I miss my family
And my friends
It’s like looking in
A claustrophobic mirror
Seeing our two faces
Day after day
Like a glitch in the matrix
Like a horrifying error
And I don’t know
What’s worse
In my life
The insane boredom
Or the
Abominable terror
Cos we’re in
An invisible war
And it feels like
We’re fighting on
Forever
and ever

©2020 Sarah Drury

Too Big for Hugs

TOO BIG FOR HUGS

You’re too big for hugs
Now
Too big for hugs
Now you’re 5ft tall
Catching me up
I’m pretty sure
You could
Pin me up against
The wall
As you
Meltdown

This morning
Leaning into me
And those sweet words
“Hug, mum,”
In your sleepyhead
Voice
And your
Dreamland eyed
Glaze
Smelling of
Tween
Head of clean curls
This is a miracle
You’re usually
Not playing
Keen

Where did my baby
Go
Where are those
Hazy days of
Snuggling at
The breast
And toddler dinner
Mess
Wobbly
First steps
Potty poop victories
First time you said
Mamma
Sobby
First days
At school
But
You’re too big
For hugs now
I Guess
They’re just
Not cool

© 2020 Sarah Drury

My Son Had a Panic Attack

I have a son with Autism and he has bad anxiety and sometimes hallucinates. I have been trying to get him sleeping in his own bedroom (he’s 12) but last night he had a really bad panic attack and was hallucinating. It breaks my heart…

Oh, my son
The tears dripping down your ashen face
Falling from deep within, a place
Where childhood dreams turn sour
Where the careless day becomes the anxious hour
And the hallucinations and nightmares come to devour
Your poor mind.

The sobs become cries become yells become screams
With the nightmares victorious over suffocated dreams
And you shake
And you shake
And your carefree spirit aches
And the bastard anxiety takes
What sanctity I try to make
In your head
Your screwed-up head.

Once a joyous ocean
But now a choked-up lake
And every day you fake
Every day to school your smiles you take
Like a cyanide laden cake
That you eat alone.
And you choke
On your insecurities
Gone are the childhood ways
The sitting on your mother’s knee
While she kisses your sore finger better
And hello
To this inability
To grow
Hello to the nasty fucking paranoia
And the seeds the anxiety sows
And the fear that through this wrecked bundle of autism and emotional delays
Flows

And I cannot see what you are seeing my love
I cannot feel the fear
As faceless faces fly towards your eyes
And your desperate breath escapes
To some nightmare psychosis place
And anxiety invades your only safe space
With your mother.

We have the experts
Three years fucking with assessments and funding
Yet that can’t buy a boy a crystal mind
Put the textbooks down and take a look behind
Your degrees
And your astronomical fees
And set this boy free
For this anomaly
Will not die if he
Always feels alone
If his mother’s omnipotent love he cannot see.
And another brick in the Pink Floyd wall he will grow up
To be.

©2020 Sarah Drury