no warmth

Larkin

had it just about right

my mother would flit in

out of my life

appear & disappear

leaving me standing

watching her back

vanish into the crowd

tell me she loved me

then be gone

my only evidence of her

for many years

were the holes

made by her high heels

into a fresh asphalt path

I’d see these every day

on my way to school

wondering if & when

I might see her again

leaving nothing

no warmth

nothing at all

but emptiness

almodovar

crimes of my mother

the first big one

was running away

with the tv repair man

leaving her kids behind

the second was leaving me

with the memories

of her frightened terror’d face

& with the people

who gave those to her

they hoped I had no memories

of her & those times

but I did

there were other crimes

but these are the ones

that matter most

in the life of a frightened kid

& there never came an apology

any understanding from her

that they were the same to us

as to her

& to make the point clear

she ran away again

no forwarding address

no phone

& she was dead five years

before I found out

she wants answers

I worked with her dad

now deceased

some years ago

& she has just found out

he was not her biological father

& wishes to know stuff

I tell her he loved her

what else is there?

her mothers’ infidelity

that he bore it well?

but she wants answers

I suggest she talk to her mother

but that don’t sit right

somehow

I just want to talk with him

she goes

& I gently suggest

your mother is the actor

in all of this

go ask her

she gets all upset she says

but no

she loved her dad the best

& wants to know

more

from the one who

stayed silent so long

cuckoo

being the

smuggled bird in the nest

my mother ran away

when I was a toddler

& later they told me

as if that was not enough

I was not my fathers son

leaving me the cuckoo

struggling in their nest

an orphan with parents

doing their best

to convince me

that I was the mad one

the cuckoo bird

that didn’t belong

to fall silent

nothing to say

no bragging rights here

& all this is

a conversation between adults about parents

grandparents longevity life

& all I can do is to fall silent

an absent father

now dead

abandoning mother

dead for five years before I found that out

a half brother who never speaks

a half sister who will not speak

to talk of this is to drown out others stories

highlight the missing in mine

better to fall silent

for the scratched scab to itch later

as the clock crawls to four

the hardest part

mind wandering fixated by glow

staring into a coldening fire

which part is you

whose part are you dealing with

your concerns

own philias fears

or those of your mother father

their unresolved id

then it clears

it is just another BBQ fire

& somebody asking

if you want any leftover meat?

the madness of parents

wanting their kids to resolve

their relationship shit

this guy who shouted

if I moved the torch helping fix the car

she using me to gain some fake advantage

in their fixed match game

no, no burger please

but I will take another beer

as the coals die that bit more

& the night begins to pull in