Mother Of Emptiness


Mother of emptiness, mother of bitterness,
growing old with deafness, slim ankles’ turn
that turned my father’s eye now swollen,
shining hair dulled too soon to grey;
false smile where babies drained your teeth,
one child dead, another approaching adulthood,
your husband stolen by your closest friend,
my father by another’s distant smile.

Trapped too long in your desolate isolation,
your friends, his family, turned their backs,
moved from ostracism to isolation
when you exchanged our home for a lonely house.
Then your daughter gone and the one man
that gave us care, the only family I knew,
waved away in the steam of the station’s gloom,
lost on an ebbing tide to the world’s far side.

Only I blame you for those years
remembering as a child the obscenities
of manhood fanning the fires of innocence
burning the mind with wonder, fear and guilt,
no man to say this is how boyhood spills.
Your back was turned long years before that day,
the passion and hope that took his searing seed
dried and frozen into the dust of hate.

I never understood the bitterness and rage,
the menopausal ranting every day
that drove me out to roam when you were home,
creeping back through darkened gas-lit streets
filled to the brim with that same emptiness
that leeched into my mind. The dreamless nights
the breaking day, waiting in bed till the door slammed
and you were far away.


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