Geraldine kicked me out of bed
when I was on the outside
when I was on the inside
forced Mum to put a bolster between us
and told me witches
stole little girls
who wouldn’t go to sleep
and made them into soup.
I must have been a pain in the arse
but, strangely, she became my friend.
She let me be her bridesmaid
took me to see Clint Eastwood films
and country music gigs
invited me for tea and we
We still have those now, when I can travel,
but both drink wine instead.
I think she likes me really.
Marianne took me to the ‘Stoogies’ Union
bought me orange squash
pointed out the guys
who used to fancy her
washed my nappies dutifully
loved me like a child loves her doll
told me when it was time to leave
and come to where she was.
For once, I took it.
‘Now, tell me once and tell me no more;
how was school today?’
So I told her. Every day.
Cup of tea and home-baked Queen-cake.
Dinner was always filling,
I didn’t know then
the cuts of meat were cheap:
liver, kidneys, lap of lamb, mince
and boiling chicken, braising steak.
I only knew that I was never hungry.
My Mummy was a genius.
First published in Reach Poetry