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

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

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

Coronavirus Mum

WARNING: A FEW SWEAR WORDS

Hands up who’s starting to go mental, cooped up all day, every day, with their nearest and dearest? In my house, it’s just my almost-teen son and I and its challenging! I often go to an open mic night called ‘Away With Words’ in Hull, and due to Coronavirus, the events have gone online. I’ve written this to perform for that event. It’s hopefully a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun!

I must defiantly admit it
I didn’t think coronavirus
Would be so fucking shit
As I’m dragging out my son
From his tweenage stinking boy pit
And he’s sleeping in old pj’s
Cos I ain’t washed shit and nothing fits
It’s hard when you’re alone
And you’re on your own and life is shit
And he’s twelve years old and a bit

I didn’t think home ed
Would be so wrong
Didn’t think that every morning
He’d be singing me a sob song
That I’m working him like Jesus
And Tenko is his theme song
That his friends don’t do no work
And I’m being a cruel bitch all along
Why is my son so fucking headstrong?

I didn’t think self isolation
Would go on forever
I used to think that propaganda’s
Boris just being clever
I always hoped that we would never
Stand so close together
I’m loving that I walk around
In no clothes whatsoever
And that shaving all my hairy bits’
No longer an endeavour
But who needs a shag these days?
Wherever? Whenever?
Our sexy bits will heal up forever!

I didn’t think that shopping
Would be such a joke
I never thought I’d need two hundred
Toilet rolls fought off a bloke
Going round grabbing pasta needing
Harry Potter’s magic cloak
Can’t loiter round the entrance
Choking back a wacky baccy smoke
Standing two metres away
From your hostile Tesco queueing folk
Get your hand sanitiser out
And punch that bloke.

I must defiantly admit it
I didn’t think coronavirus
Would be so fucking shit
I can see half of the country
Panic buying rampant rabbits
And the other half are drowning
In the bog roll when they have to sit
In social distanced bathrooms
With their virus manky halfwits
And folk all over England
Are falling into death pits
When will our fucking country
Get their act together with this shit?
In another six months and a bit!

©2020 Sarah Drury

I Am Not a Meme

I am a mother
An Autism mother
I browse the forays of Facebook
Forgetting the lakes of purples and blues
Decorating my limbs in myriad hues
Pools of rage and emotional instability
Because my Autistic son has the demonic ability
To inflict hurt.

I cringe at the memes. Why am I not more like them?

‘God found some of the strongest women
And made them Autism mums’

Well God must’ve been having a fucking joke
For who wants the slightest fleck of instability
To turn into a tempestuous liability
Who wants the fighting and screaming and cursing
Blue tinged words and searing guilt immersing
Who wants the depression looming
The stress, the headaches booming
God must have misjudged my capabilities
For I’m tearing my fucking hair out with my inability
To be strong for God.

‘Autism doesn’t come with a manual,
It comes with a parent who never gives up’

And I sit here praying for a miraculous amnesty
Nursing my wounds and lamenting my agony
I wish I had that fucking Autism bible
I wish that Shakespeare had written plays about mothers like me, unstable
Spinning round on an infernal neurosis turntable
Mothers who just don’t feel in control, don’t feel able
Who give up every single day
Give up every single fuck
When every second is grey
When the depression comes out to play.

‘If you think my hands are full
You should see my heart’

And my hands juggle some perpetual pandemonium
And I sing these insane songs like a psychotic harmonium
Shit in one heavy hand and giggles in the other
Feeling like an abject, joyless excuse of a mother
And my heart is close to breaking, so close to tears
Patched together by remnants of hope interjected with paranoid fears
If you could really see my heart, you’d see a twisted thorn
All those times I’ve lost my patience and after I’ve sworn
To be a better mum
To be a better mum

For this is an Autism house and I am the mother
And I’m not a fucking meme
I’m a human, another

Soul drowning

In Autism memes.

©2020 Sarah Drury

Shit Mum

WARNING: SWEARING ALERT!

Yesterday was a tough day where I felt like a totally bad parent. I felt like rocking with a teddybear, sucking a dummy and banging my head on a wall!

I must defiantly admit it
I didn’t think as a mother I would be so shit
A northerner, a salt of the earth working class brit
But I’m about as patient as a toddler who’s been asked to sit
Through twenty episodes of Coronation Street with a lip that’s bruised and slit
But I’m building him up for a spell at her Majesty’s in the nick
When he’s fifteen years and a bit.

I think I’ve just had enough
I didn’t think as a mother it would be so tough
I didn’t think the days would be so dreary, nights so rough
I never knew CBeebies was such torture til I’d had enough
Of Mr fucking Tumble and his Makaton special stuff
I want to get the fucker into everlasting handcuffs
Let’s see him last five minutes in this ruff and tumble neighbourhood.

I think I need a fag
I didn’t think as a mother I would lose my rag
I didn’t think I’d turn into a bloody vicious nag
Thirty years ago I was a stunner, a looker, a stellar shag
And now I’m looking rougher, like a no fag, no shag, hag
And I slob around in PJ’s like a degenerate, depressed bag
With my Primark/Lidl/Aldi/Iceland cheap ass price tag.

I know I’m no Barbie doll
I didn’t think a mother’s life would seem so bland and droll
I didn’t think I’d end up with the amusement shortfall
Playing games of banging heads against a council concrete wall
Wishing I could stab a knife into my bleedin kid’s football
My kid acting like a gangsta when he’s only 5 foot tall.
Saying no she don’t live here when the hard debt collectors call.

I didn’t think that as a mother I would be so shit
I didn’t think that as a teacher I would be so bad at it
I always thought that I would be a Supernanny big hit
But now I’m slumming, tunes a hummin, leggings that my arse don’t fit
My kid’s a screaming, social worker’s looking at my home pit
And making snotty comments about the mess and bloody state of it.

But I try my best, each shitty day to be a better mum
But it’s hard when you’re bipolar and the moodswings always come.

©2019 Sarah Drury