My mother was a sod to me. Her dilemma was because her attractiveness was decreasing just as I grew attractive (and knew it), it made part of her hate me. No-one gave a fuck about her intellectual qualifications or personality, she was middleaged. Contradictorily she urged me to succeed at school, then uni, but used her bitchiness and brains to compete and put me down. She died a month too soon to lay down the law about bringing up her granddaughter. I cried my eyes out and I thought: Phew, thank God for that!

Mr Wright’s polyanthus
are the brutal darkred of used Tampax,
(in my trouser dark I love to feel the dark blood drain)

Please don’t hate me - blue and red and crude
flowers like bits of cut-out rag blow among green
crisply embossed and tight-lipped leaves,

a moon, and in its shining lap, dark flowerbed,
something you’ll never see, mother, Mr Wright’s polyanthus
flowers growing, nor the unfenced allotment that’s his garden!

In February I’m dust-dry and hungry
for my period, for you to hold my hand and keep me warm
for love’s flowering eyes, cold, pricked out and scentless

for both of us! When I admit
I wanted love from you, that physically I did
love you, my greenstick fractured mind

can settle back like elastic after taking
the strain of you, another person, her emotions.
Kiss my snotty body do not mind

the polyanthus nor the tight-in-coat
scarf-lapped shawl-wrapped wintry
menstruations we hated both of us for having, mouthing, grinning

nastily and vividly. Here are polyanthus I can’t pick
only admire, as I admire Mr Wright
the gardener, and you, for gardening me

and giving me the hot and flowing gift of self!
Back to soil: you’re dead, I am alone
still in love though, bleeding, seeing… necrophile!

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