Broken Wings

This poem is dedicated to anyone who has ever suffered with a mental illness.

I have two tattered wings
That sit like prayers
Upon my broken back
I thought I was an angel
But angels’ wings are usually white
I don’t know if they come
In shades of black
And I know I lack faith
I try to keep my eyes
To heaven in the sky
But my wings are too heavy
I try to help myself
To lift my soul, to fly
But each cloud is a traitor
Selling my sins for my lies
God tell me why
I am always falling
At the first demon?
Am I faithless?

I have two tattered wings
That sit like heavy burdens
Upon my fragile heart of gold
I’ve been trying
Not to sell my cut price soul
To the devil
Since losing my virginity
At seventeen sordid years old
I waited for Armageddon
But you pay for Heaven
In pieces of silver
Not in counterfeit gold
And my wings
Aren’t worth shit

I have two tattered wings
That sit like curses
Upon a mind of paranoia
And madness
I’ve been conversing
With the saints
If I say a prayer for a sick child
Will they take away this
Summertime sadness
It’s a bit late for me
For my shattered wings
To be made anew
There’re only so many things
These days
I can possibly do
Without going fucking
INSANE

But I’ll keep flying
Broken angel
Navigating those crazy skies
And I’ll keep peddling those
Happiness lies
Swallowing the pills I despise
And I’ll survive
On a wing
And a
prayer

©2020 Sarah Drury

To the Kind, Mute Bloke

Dedicated to the kind, mute bloke who gave my son half his chocolate stash in the local corner shop.

I’d noticed you
Shining at the counter
Trying to appear as dull
As we were unpolished
It wasn’t the way
You couldn’t speak
With muted lips
But the way
You conversed
In synonyms
Of special

Sometimes words
Fall meaningless
Like sunshades
In the Arctic
And you didn’t need
Fancy metaphors
Weaved into
Articulate Soliloquies
To be heard

I didn’t want to
Be unkind
I had my own
Business to mind
As I loitered
Inconspicuously queuing
Maybe curiosity
Would be my undoing
Not knowing if
This immaculate being
Was deaf, dumb
Or blind

You didn’t say your name
Was kindness
There were no
Regal fanfares
No stench of ostentation
Love doesn’t need
Grand gestures
Vocal cries of salutation
When half your treats
You gifted
To my son
One tender moment
When love was the victor
And wars against
Humanity
Were won

And don’t you know
You lifted
My soul out of
The gutter
That day
I didn’t think
I’d ever meet
One whose words
Were cloaked in
Secrecy
Sheer volume is
No compensation for
Human decency

And my son said
It was wrong
Taking gifts from
A stranger
But I said
When I am there
You are protected
From danger
I hold my son’s heart
Like Jesus
In a manger
And we knew
We were
Looking
At an
Angel

©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

Notions of Class

CAUTION: ADULT CONTENT

I had a very mixed childhood. My father, who died when I was seven, was a chartered accountant, and my mother had to do a variety of jobs to make ends meet, working her fingers to the bone. I wanted a better life, I wanted to be Middle Class. I studied at uni, wore the clothes, honed the accent, got a top notch teaching job, sang with professional choir. But mental illness got the better of me and my nicey nicey world came tumbling down. I have dropped my pretensions and am proud of my roots.

I tried to up myself
To better myself
To stick my nose in the air
I didn’t really care
Back then
About my poor, arthritic mother
Packing crisps down the factory
Or living in council shitholes
Because my mum’s wages
Were unsatisfactory
Single parent, widowed mother
One step from the shitheap
My story was just like another
And another
On our estate.

I never quite understood
The wine thing
Was it red with meat
And white with fish?
It had always been a case of
Just getting pissed
On any old cheapo plonk
I was a classless pisshead
Had to step up my game
Didn’t want my shameful roots
To catch me out again
So fucking sick of
Being related to the woman
Who cleaned up the pile of puke
So fucking sick of it

I thought a silk Monsoon dress
And a Cheadle postcode
Made me one
Of the elite
Talking like a village vicar
But fucking the men
Beneath the sodden sheets
Within the sordid walls
Not the epitome of discrete
And the milk man
Never noticed
The skulking, adulterous feet
Seeking silence
Betwixt the dawn chorus

Mental illness
Had no bounds
I was ebbing my life away
Behind bars in
Psychiatric compounds
Swapping my Monsoon frocks
For electric shocks
Lithium, Valium
Straight jackets worn like
psychosis condoms
On men’s misogynist cocks
Sanity took years
Craziness is
Classless

I am proud
Now
To be called working class
I’m proud to hold my head high
As I walk upon the needle littered grass
In this steel town hometown
Keeping my vowels plain and flat
And minimising my metaphors
Like I’m waltzing on broken glass
Don’t want my neighbours
To think
I’ve got
Pretentious
Notions
Of
Class

© 2020 Sarah Drury

Bullshit

I live on a big council estate and some of the youths are having trouble with their social distancing.

This is dedicated to them.

WARNING: SWEARING (for they most definitely don’t speak like the Queen ha!)

Gangs of youths
Balaclavad faces
Trainers choked with mud
From a prohibited space
No one’s gonna force us
To pissing well embrace
This social distancing
Propaganda rat race
It’s all fucking
Bullshit

Wayward teens
Parents don’t give a shit
If we’re lacing up
Another coronavirus hit
Delinquents, wear the face
If it damn well fits
Only give a damn
If your hair is on fleek
It’s all fucking
Bullshit

Loitering around
Pissed and stoned
Fucking around
Making Tik Toks on our phones
Breathing the death air
Spreading toxic with our bones
Ringing out the death knolls
With our knocked off iPhones
It’s all fucking
Bullshit

Best friend’s gone now
Intensive care
Didn’t give a shit
Pissed his chances in the air
Fucking his fate
Over a told you so chair
Just another news story
For the BBC to share
It’s all fucking
Bullshit

©2020 Sarah Drury