Growing Up


I was a real person once,
finer, soft-grained, full of juice.
But I couldn’t pass by the sacrificial block
its white bone chips
its medallions of blood.

My mum never, very much, became anyone.
She was in thrall before she could grow her shell.
She learnt never to expect anything.
The lank man on the horse
of disappointment always turned up.

I traded in myself
to be a grown-up.
Bad luck that now I want a refund back.
Too late to plead shopper’s mistake.

My mum made a poor bargain with life
which like a stern sales manager
remains stony-faced.
She filled up her lifeboat with dacron dresses
until it sank.

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