Monday, 16 January 2017 16:17

Like Mother

Written by
in Poetry
174
Like Mother

Like Mother

by Nadia Drews

Settle down, bottom set, poor concentration, what do you expect?
Failed tests, predictable results, staying behind
red lines
Life viewed through windows in the sticks ,drizzling with tears of spilling piss
Clinging like dribble to chins of grizzling kids, you didn’t do what the other girls did
Tossed like crossings out on screwed up scraps
The Battersbys and the Bickerstaffes

The flimsy, thin, sterling silver skin stinging slaps
The back of the class chatting up robbing from the stock cupboard smothered laughs
Julie, longing lashes, soft, leather wrapped in Frank
Debbie, bitty little. Biting lippy, outside the chippy
Gob full of fizz bomber jacketed hands jammed in high
Up in arms, sticking out like chicken wings, flapping
Clucking fuck this and fuck that
Flicking V’s, not free to fly
Leanne, lanky, shrieking streak of ‘Miss!’
Witty, eyeing, disguised lined rims hidden behind
Sharp as a knife flicked fringe
Shading every shame filled cringe

All subjects of so much rigid invigilation
Tiddy-tipped, spit slippy, wetly dreamt of detentions
Gripped like slurped chipped china mugs gulped and spilled
Held in belched petrol smells, cider swilled with fry –ups
Eyeing up, weighing out, measured in points for their pleasure
Stiff inches of shifting skin counting you on scribbling fingers
Summing you up, in and out scratching walls
Hurtful mis spelt spurting words
Running out and leaving
Stale-tasting tell-tale stained pockets of cock-eyed explanations

After all those years of teaching you lessons
Never reading your need to know
NO …..NO…..NO
Minus one of them speccy gets noticed you go
Woe betide you’d ever forget it uniformly checked
Stubby short to skinny strip
Hanging from the tide marked neck
Now noosed round a reflection in a dressing table mirror
A face painted with disgrace
With no-one waiting till you washed it off
To bare your face then confiscate that birthday gift from your mum

Full term came and went for some
An unmarked summer break becoming an endless spiral-bound roundabout
A mid-afternoon, windblown, swinging groan
With no bell ringing time to go home
Down the dole to drum on doors hard
Then a card and a ticking clock
On the Verdigris, smocked copper bonnet factory top
Making dull days, patinaed with wages
Catalogued to pay for life in reasonable instalments
24 or 36 weeks
Outfits in drips to disguise your defeat down the pub

Atmosphere thickly stinking mist of chart hits
Spewing what was supped in the gutter
Thrust against throbbing, glugging, tugging
Filling up belly-aching gaps, swallowing laughs, tapping off happiness
Getting ribbed, getting bent coins banged in avoiding trouble
Chasing, knocking back, seeing double

Others would try to get in the club
The price was too high for you to pay
And you were too old to run away again
All your mates had to stay in evenings
Facing days framed by pram handles
And pacing familiar avenues
Dangling struggling little girls
Heavy with giggles from the hip
Where you all used to stand about strangling laughs
Yanking tangles, swapping bangles
Mixed up ten pence teeth sticking sweet dreams
Twisted in bags ripped from string
Escaping tear away paper thin lips
Skinned suckling pale pink dissolving flying saucers
Sore ochre cracked areolas with sleeping smiles inside
That mithered mothers now bribe their daughters with
Outside Clare’s shop beyond the school gates when you were meant to stop

You paid your debts to Great Universal
Ticking the box to say you would no longer like to be a representative
And walked out in a patent leather patiently anticipated excellent value for you shoe
Through the front door this time
With your mum’s packed away sadness and matching set of unused suitcases for all occasions
Full of qualifications to be somewhere else
And you slipped into the empty space on the empty bus
Like a pear drop from Betty’s shop
popped in
a shared quarter passed between mother and daughter sat on the sofa staring at the blaring telly
Yelling jokes at soaps her stroking your hair and hoping

Read 174 times Last modified on Monday, 16 January 2017 16:28
Nadia Drews

Nadia Drews is a playwright, director, poet and performer. Thirty years of repressed rhymes mean she writes long poems - but she reads them fast.