Stacey

My name is Stacey
I am hard as the knuckles
on my father’s hand
When his gold sovereign ring
kisses my lying teeth
With a glint of what he calls
tough love

And his Doc Marten feet
dance on my nail-hard flesh
Painting green and purple
masterpieces with
splashes of red
A canvas of abuse but
he says he loves me
And love is precious

And his eyes cut into
my heart like a surgeon
nonchalantly considers
a newly deceased cadaver
I have to look away
or iron palms will smart
my punch bag cheek
But love is like that

I think my life is tough
But at the end of the day
it’s for my own good
My father says
I’m a fucking little bitch
But he will break me
and make me

But he’s birthed a monster
with his fists of fire
and his hands of hate
and his feet of fury
and his temper of turmeric

I am Stacey
I am hard as the knuckles
on my father’s hand
And I am as broken
as the glass greenhouse
where my father
shouldn’t throw stones

©2020 Sarah Drury

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

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