Yvonne Fisher's Poems

They’re Adults.

They’re adults, aren’t they supposed to protect me?
I’m a child, surely they shouldn’t neglect me?
I shouldn’t suffer from their evil abuse,
They shouldn’t hurt me, there can be no excuse.
They push me to my very limit,
To try and break my feeble spirit,
They don’t give me a chance or choice,
Because I haven’t got an adult’s voice.
I’m young, I’m vulnerable and weak,
They pay no attention to me when I speak,
My body’s there for them to use,
To violate and to abuse.
They’ve bruised my flesh and made me bleed,
They’ve used me to fulfil their greed,
They’ve locked me up and called me names,
I’ve dressed as a whore to play their games.
They used me, one after the other,
My father knew, so did my mother,
They laughed at me, they thought it funny,
I amused their friends, I made them money.
I felt so worthless and so cheap,
The hurt and pain ran very deep,
But what was I but their commodity?
A filthy and peculiar oddity.
When you’re continually told you’re dirt,
Eventually you cease to hurt,
You play their games and take your chances,
Accept abuse and their vile advances.
But when you eventually stop being frightened,
You start to grow up and you become more enlightened,
You start to be strong and begin to fight,
Because sooner or later you see the light.
Now they can’t hurt me with their words or their fists,
I’ve come into the sun and out of the mist,
They’re the ones who are sick and obscene,
My new life will be bright and clean.
I’ll always feel sad when I remember the years,
My childhood of torment, torture and fears,
No father to praise me, and no mother’s embrace,
I look in the mirror and study my face,
I see a woman who’s strong, who’s vibrant, alive,
A woman who’s learnt how to fight and survive.
I don’t have to forget or smile and forgive,
Just take life in both hands and go forward and live.
Don’t let your past stop you from succeeding,
It can be good, the life that you’re leading,
Mourn for that child, then lay her to rest,
And always remember that you are the best.

 

Yvonne Fisher.

 

Remember.

Remember when you were little,
And everyone else seemed tall.
Remember when you were frightened,
But nobody heard you call.
Remember when you didn’t understand,
And nobody was there to offer a hand.
Remember your mother would shout and scream,
At whatever you’d done that you didn’t mean.
Remember how you would cry and cry,
Any love that there was had passed you by.
Remember you were told that you’d been a mistake,
And you’d go to sleep wishing, you’d never wake.
Remember the relief you got from self-harm,
From cutting your flesh, to breaking your arm.
Remember with a punch, you could make your nose bleed,
She’d have to pay some attention, attend to your need.
Remember she said you were ‘driving her mad’,
They would take her away because you were so bad.
Remember how she couldn’t bear your touch,
She couldn’t speak to you, you repulsed her so much.
Remember how you were quiet and shy,
Frightened she’d leave you without saying goodbye.
Remember she said she ‘wished she was dead’,
When you’re only six, this sticks in your head.
Remember the child whose heart was aching,
Whose mother was spitting and screaming and shaking.
Remember the tiredness, confusion and tears,
The wishing and longing for some who cares.
Remember you had no sister or brother,
Just a drunken father and self-centred mother.
Remember how slow the time use to pass,
Now life is good, it goes far too fast.
Remember how you want to be exactly opposite to her,
You make sure your children are nothing you were.
Remember how this has affected your life,
Although you’re a mother, although you’re a wife.
Remember the feeling the day that she died,
Nothing was finished, the ends still untied.
Remember, the life that she’d had was bad,
Unwanted and bullied, unloved and so sad.
Remember that we must learn to forget,
Or be condemned to live a life of regret.
Remember to leave your baggage behind,
Be happy in spirit, in body, in mind.
Remember the time with your children is precious,
We can’t recall time, once its gone, it has left us.
Remember time passes so quickly, and then,
You’re back where you started, alone once again.
Remember, you get back from life what you give,
As you sow, shall you reap, and you die how you live.
Remember to adore and cherish your family,
And they will adore and cherish your memory.
Remember your mother, she never meant to be cruel,
She probably loved you, so don’t be a fool.
Remember the good times, there must have been some,
But she can break your heart, the one we call mum.


Yvonne Fisher.

 

Are You Dead?

How many ways can you kill yourself, you don’t have to be dead to be dead,
You can have a life like mine used to be, and be dead inside your head.
Your heart can be dead, no emotions, no tears,
A complete void, an emptiness, but never free of fears.
A prison, a coffin, can’t breathe your own air,
Suffocated and crushed, bound in chains of despair.
The best way to kill yourself is not to retaliate,
Let them hold you captive in a tight oppressive state.
Let them confiscate your freedom, let them tell you what to think,
Let them flood your escape route, so you can’t swim, so you sink.
Let them put out the fire that wants to burn within your soul,
Let them destroy your dreams and the spirit that makes you whole.
Let them pluck your wings so it’s impossible to fly,
Let them suck out all your air, and leave you alone to die.
See, there are lots of ways to kill yourself, or let yourself be killed,
You need to fight and kick and scream, you need to be strong willed.
You need to let them know that they can’t crush or break you down,
Despite the tidal waves of fear, you will swim, you won’t drown.
You’ll break free from their oppression and their suffocating torture,
You’ll free your mind, you’ll breathe fresh air, you’ll build yourself a future.
You won’t let them kill you, albeit metaphorically,
Your going to live and discover, just how good life can be.
You’re going to keep your wings, to spread them and to fly,
You’re going to let your spirit freely rise up to the sky.
The world will open up in front of you with things for you to choose,
Take them, try them, do your best, you don’t have anything to lose.
And as you move along in life don’t be anybody’s fool,
Once you’ve broken out of prison, out of home or out of school,
You’ll be a beautiful butterfly emerging from a chrysalis,
You’ll be free and strong and striking, with opportunities limitless.
So you don’t have to kill yourself in any way at all,
You don’t have to put up with being bullied or people being cruel,
Fight your oppressors, kick and scream when they attack,
Rise up and take flight, looking forward, never back.


Yvonne Fisher. January 2005.

 

Where I lived.

We lived in a big house that had belonged to an aristocrat,
But we only had one room where you couldn’t swing a cat,
There were my parents and me and all we possessed,
You can’t really wonder why my mother was depressed.

There were other families living in that condition,
Hoping the house was soon for demolition,
But it wasn’t, I lived there for eighteen years,
With not as much laughter as there were tears.

My grandparents lived in an adjoining room,
Which was dark and dirty with a Victorian gloom,
My grandmother worked hard all of her life,
My grandfather was a drunk who mistreated his wife.

My mother made a living tailoring from home,
Earning small amounts of money from gents garments she had sewn,
I remember that she cried a lot, was lonely and always angry,
I brought her no happiness, her life seemed dull and somehow empty.

My father worked hard all his life, he also liked a drink,
All in all these circumstances took my mother to the brink,
She had very little happiness and loving through her life,
No status gave her joy; not daughter, mother, wife.

The family that lived below consisted of three siblings,
They were sisters and they did some wicked, evil things.
Times were really miserable and they played well their part,
In the destruction of my mother’s nerves, and the breaking of her heart.

The rows were almost constant with violence and abuse,
My mother begged and pleaded for some respite or a truce,
She lived in fear and dread of what was coming next,
We never knew what might happen, or what to expect.

There also was a brother, who died suddenly one Sunday,
This happened following a particularly noisy melee,
They put him in a tiny room and laid him on a bed,
And I was made to sing to him, although he was quite dead.

Being at the time, around the age of four,
I wondered why there was a bandage tied around his jaw,
He never moved or gave me his fierce and angry glare,
His nose was pinched, his skin was grey and his teeth lay on the chair.


I still picture that scene with this small child singing,
And, appropriately for Sunday, church bells were ringing,
And for just that afternoon my mother got her respite,
But like Christmas Day in World War 1, they soon resumed the fight.

When you’re grown up your childhood is gone and it is finished,
Bad memories and sadness should fade and then diminish,
Now you are an adult and you have to forgive and forget,
Ghosts of the past are a long time dead and no longer pose a threat.

Don’t you sometimes wonder how you came out of it sane?
What was it all for and what did you have to gain?
Someone once said, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’,
Thank God my childhood didn’t last any longer.

Even now in middle age I still get very frightened,
This is a remnant of the past, a burden never lightened,
Every single day, from childhood to the present,
I’m waiting for the unbearable, not just the unpleasant.

I was frightened of my teachers and the other kids at school,
I’d do anything thing to please them and I never broke a rule,
I was frightened of my parents and the neighbours in the street,
I was bullied and tormented and so easy to defeat.

Sometimes I pretend I’m the mother of that child who had to sing,
To an ugly corpse, in a cold small room, with his jaw tied up with string,
I cuddle her and kiss her and let her heart sing out,
She’s happy and she’s beautiful, I make sure that I leave her in no doubt.

There’s an inner London housing estate built where my house once stood,
High crime rates, graffiti and violence are all part of this neighbourhood,
The kids of this life need different skills to survive,
It’s a different battle to mine that they’re fighting to stay alive.

Staying alive isn’t the opposite of being dead,
Staying alive is all in your head,
Whether you fight physically, or you quietly out wit,
Put yourself first, don’t take any shit!

One day your children will be your number one priority,
Until such time don’t be part of the majority,
Be strong and individual, remember you’re the best,
And from as early as you’re able, f**k all the rest!


Yvonne Fisher.
November 2004.