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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
Thank God my childhood didn’t last any longer.
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
I was frightened of my parents and the neighbours in the street,
I was bullied and tormented and so easy to defeat.
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
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.
an inner London housing estate built where my house once stood,
High crime rates, graffiti and violence are all part of this
The kids of this life need different skills to survive,
It’s a different battle to mine that they’re fighting
to stay alive.
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!
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!