I asked my daughter what she did today
Did she play with her friends?
Did she thrive?
I could ask her these things because she came out alive.
I asked my son if he was put on Gold
Or was he placed in Red Corner where the bad kids sit?
Not that it matters – not one bit
My middle child
She pondered a while
And then asked me this:
Mummy, it’s different in America, isn’t it?
It is, my love, it really is
You do not need to keep yourself hid
But American kids have a different way;
Here’s the things you’ll hear them say:
‘Today we learned to duck and cover
And to make a break and hide in a cupboard
To grab a phone, dial 9-1-1
And pray that the bad man has gone
And then we learned to stay real still
Because that man will shoot to kill
We learned all this straight from our tutor
In case there is an active shooter.’
For *when* there is an active shooter.
That’s how it seems – prove me wrong.
So I don’t have to weep in song.
I’m not one to compare writers. I hate that. Yuk. Sure, it’s great for marketing, I suppose – if you must market. “Fans of such-and-such will love this novel by so-and-so…” YAWWWN. That sort of crap is lazy and unclever, and has never once given me that I JUST GOTTA HAVE IT vibe.
It’s somewhat pissing on the author’s skills, too: when the blurbage tells me that Writey McScribe is the next Clive Barker, all I hear is “this guy is wholly unoriginal, having re-hashed some dying old trope or other.” Talk about damning by faintstuff.
What I will do, though, is tell you who my own particular boat-floaters are, just so you know where I’m at; this *chick is notoriously hard to impress, particularly when it comes to those who poe. If you’re gonna rhyme your way straight to my heart, buddy, your wordplay is going to have to…
Forgetting how to love, I lived in chains;
Those shackles became sentimental ploys;
Existing in a world of only pain;
All hope had gone, all self-respect and poise.
As life became a bitter, twisted mess
I had to kill my hopes and crush my needs
There were no happy endings then, unless
I saw them in my poetry or dreams.
Then suddenly, a heart just like my own
Appeared before me, beating strong and pure;
His heart was also filled with sorrow though;
So similar the things we had endured.
As love saw us, demanding to enchant,
We recognised each other at a glance.
If I could tell the beauty of his eyes
I might describe the way they look at me;
Perhaps I’d write of how they paralyse;
I see his eyes and neither move nor speak.
If I could tell the story of his lips
I might go overboard and lose my thread;
Perhaps I’d write of love so true and this:
They kiss my own and melt me into bed.
If I could tell the way his soul inspires
I might then speak of how he has me soar;
Perhaps I’d write of burning, love on fire;
Our souls, they are the same – for evermore.
If I could write our future in one line,
It’s this: now I be his, and he be mine.
You didn’t want me
I wanted you
As well you know
You didn’t love me – never could
And even though
I hoped you would
Or dreamed you might…
…I had no fight.
I could not stay
And could not say
I loved you when
You didn’t wish to hear it…
…Because you always feared it.
But this I know: Our letting go
Might hurt our hearts hereafter
But living without love?
We just averted a disaster.
My wasted heart it knew not how to beat;
Instead it chose a terminating pulse;
Preparing to give up, it did retreat
From many tests with negative results.
My poorly heart it wanted to be killed;
Survival was no life with half a heart;
As slowing beats left passions unfulfilled,
So love was paused, no reason to restart.
My dying heart gave up on love at last,
Content without contentment, time to go;
Defibrillation banned, all hopes were dashed;
When love appeared and spoke so I would know:
There’s no more flatlines, no more giving in;
For next to mine, a new heart: shaped like him.