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

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

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

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