Friday, 7 April 2017


The others drew up in an endless succession:
their unions an Alaskan wilderness;
the hangman’s lines mapped on their faces.

A cavalcade of the silently bereft,
whose unseen losses would be hidden
by the appearance of us.

And we were infant prizes,
given away in a shameless charade
of pass the human parcel.

The layers of our histories were hastily unwrapped;
discarded along with our protestations,
and our mothers’ forbidden anguish.

All safety and security annihilated,
we panicked, horrified at the unspeakable absence
of mother; of self.

We hid inside our dismal shrouds of despair,
our familiars vanished: face, voice, taste, touch, smell;
replaced by unrecognisable otherness.

They squandered our identities,
made us strangers to ourselves,
and pretenders to their inheritance.

This, then, is how we lived our childhoods:
as ghosts, like the dead, shrouded always,
and forever hidden from our mothers.


  1. yes, we are their artificial cosmetic geared to conceal the ugliness of their infertility, no more than their thin veneer, plead altruism till they drop as, of course, plead they will,unable to admit the self-centredness of their recourse.

    how pathetic and pitiable infertility is? what a bleakness with which the infertile are mercilessly confronted, what a cutting down of youth, what a terrible loss not to be able to father sons, no enviable predicament theirs and this wilderness their starting point in respect of us, what a desperation into which to be introduced as if we weren't already terminally desperate: no banns proclaimed prior to this clandestine marriage of desperadoes, us and them, them and us, whose was the sorrier plight? can't father a son? (or a son without a father?) well might one be one's own craggy hangman;impotence, the end of one's own line, not an enviable bereavement to which adoption could only ever be a mocking sop, a constant reminder of one's barrenness, never a resolution, pitiable.

    pass the parcel under the impression there's only one layer if indeed any at all, but how many many we are left to latterly discover when the true complicated unwrapping commences, how many? layers of 'pre-history'present and absent, indecipherable, lost to antiquity revision-resistant.

    an infant is not just for christmas

    our mothers were denied their existence and by so much so were we. i was thinking of our progenitor mothers but in truth adoptive mothers are also denied their existence, i mean, sad to say, they don't really exist, at best consciencious guardians no more despite all wishful thinking to the contrary, the best they can be is an expedient, oh unattainable legitimacy on every hand; all rendered illegitimate in one fell swoop. 'the adoption triad? more like the illegitimate triad! but none so much as the defenseless child

    NO MOURNING! a la Michael Rosen may as well dictate: "no breathing!" what else to breathe out but mourning? but mourning disallowed quashed and that from the commencement of one's developmental stages before even their commencement. do any hear this disallowed breathing? NO.

    protest? no, no, you are thankful,there is no other option, ingratitude is unthinkable how dare to be unthankful, what would be the outcome?

    "hastily" yes time was of the essence, had to be done yesterday before the naive girl awoke to the reality of what 'she had done'. best get her sign before the anesthetic wears off, wouldn't want to permit her rationale, wouldn't want to wait till her rabid hormones level off to homeostasis, no no kick her while she's down, more haste less speed alright

    our forbidden mother: what mother? disallowed mother, obfuscated, obliterated

    safety and security forever annihilated only the horror of every danger. self-absent, no wonder i'm so absent-minded from such an endless panic once set up- always set up. HOW DO SUCH CHILDREN COPE IN THE FACE OF SUCH BLATENT NON-ACKNOWLEDGEMENT? oh they're just drama queens if not a little introspective, they're just making Everest out of a molehill without a great deal of rest:"absence"...more like neverrest

    all for now

    1. ' get her sign before the anesthetic wears off...' I may use that line. The last paragraph is so important; like everything you write, and everything we've said, it is a life-sized mirror, containing all 48 years. '...self-absent, no wonder i'm so absent-minded...' is powerful, and such a profound insight.