Mother we share


In ways I have lived before.
I held that ornament just as you did
brought it down on balding head and leaching hands
I was your quick exhale as he fell.
I was the sludging silence, the absence of sound.
he fell as you had, a crumbling mountain
his bed was softer than the stairs he gifted you
no child, no bastard, no good bitch
a chant
he tried to snatch the life he gave
rotten semen and terrible choice growing
into responsibility you would no doubt love.
I was there, stood like you,
over the body of a monster living inside a man.
You have prettier ornaments now.


I was you the time the law failed you once again.
Foregoing the mother,
the dead were given hands and bodies whole.
Who knew zombies could win court cases?
That act was not self-defence, see,
there is no fair turn around in white porcelain.
She was ill, I remember:
frail chest no match for winter’s harsh winds.
I watched as he refused that tiny puffa coat,
heard our mind whispering warnings about creaking chests.
Then came the fire, heating up the dead winter standstill.
I cradled those pudgy wrinkled fingers as you did,
we marked those brands as one.
Perfectly ribbed burns across baby soft fingers.
I inhaled as you pledged:
No more bruises or swimming pools or sick, branded children.


I was with you the third time when legal obligation
tore desperate faces from your arms.
But now, this time, an older brother -
nature’s natural nappied protector.
You inhaled as vulnerable hand clasped vulnerable hand
before inching into the grasp of the should-be dead.
An extra year of life does not lend itself to catching serpents.
As contracted, they were delivered unto you, onto us.
Finally, came change; an uncertain breath.
Then, as dusk fell, I witnessed the end:
two mottled nappies, stained powder surprises.
Then, bone-breaking anger and
a darkness fuelled by off-white substance

Here was when you ejected me.

I beheld the birth of a star
then blinded, I faded
to burrow inside you
waiting for you
to breathe me
into a new