by Anne E Thompson

She tidied up,
Resigned her job,
She tidied up,
Paid all bills.
She tidied up,
Found a cleaner.
She tidied up,
Trained the dog.
She tidied up,
Left recipes.
She tidied up,
Found appliance manuals.
She tidied up,
Threw out memories.
She tidied up,
Took the gun
And removed her brain.

The Mother

The Mother

I ease the chalk white torpedo through the foil,
Releasing it from the clinical plastic capsule.
Held lightly, so lightly, in my hand,
As I imagine what might be.
How I would welcome oblivion.
Then I think of you;

How your face shines at the simple delight
Of a favourite food,
How you chatter endlessly about your day,
Carelessly scattering love.
You need routine and security,
You deserve to feel safe.

Then I consider what might be.
Your bewilderment and distress
Your life-long wondering “Why?”
The fear it was your fault.

So I will continue to wade
Through the murky darkness
Of black treacle depression.
And I will fail,
I will be the mother who is lost,
Or late,
Or who forgets to return forms.
Who shouts when she is tired,
And sometimes cries.

But at the end of time,
When you stand before me
And confess I failed as a mum,
I will know, that at least
You had one.