A mother’s lament

In the outer suburbs,

in the space between the bush and the town,

therapy is what you get from a physio.

When the cracks appear in the plaster

and they start to match up with your mind,

because the foundations have slipped,

you ask not for whom the telephone bell tolls

because it never tolls for thee.

In the silence you can hear Death whispering

and your GP says ‘take these’.

You scream at the TV and the three-piece suite

and the made-to-measure lined drapes,

‘I invested in you, where is my dividend?’

And these things scream back their nothing response.

Your children, who abandoned your church

tell you to take up yoga and your mouth says ‘yes’

and your heart says ‘is that all there is?’

You’ve played the game

and did what you had to do

and you come to the end

and your kids feed you mumbo jumbo they’ve picked up

with the education that cost your world to give,

their clever minds and dumb hearts

deaf to your rhythms and your reality.

You wish to God your own parents had owned up to this swindle

and that you could stop counting the ghosts

that fill in the gaps in the queue of your past people.

And that your grandchildren knew more about you

than your bottomless pit of little presents.

And that that bastard who mows his lawns at 7 a.m. on Sundays

would stop without having to be asked.

And that any of it made any sense.

And that everything would just stop for a while

while you get your bearings

so that you could know …….. not everything

but just one thing that you were sure was true

for now and for ever

instead of watching the cracks spreading

in all of the plaster.

3 thoughts on “A mother’s lament

  1. A disturbing post with too many things that resonated for me in terms of the disquiet of ageing except that I never bought into the private school myth and I admire what my offspring have made of themselves. Oh, and I arrived at yoga myself


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