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 do not like discussing the weather
Not even to set a story’s scene
But I do reserve the right
To dance naked and umbrellaless in the rain
And parade around in the snow sans bra until my nipples stand to attention just so they can make a point while simultaneously glamorous and hard
Like fairies that fuck
Each other over
Flamboyance is just for my own eyes:
Instead of having a night on the ale with the friends I don’t have
I remain content to sit in the garden with the Lilac trees whose existence proves that nature rewards the nocturnal nose.
Do not pity me
For although I had my father for a dad and a tent for a house
And despite the illogical godfulness of my ill-informed formatives
I worked my ass off to escape myself
And I did escape myself
And I did escape
And I did.
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.