Mum 2.
Article Type: Poem
Subject: Mother-daughter relations (Portrayals)
Adult children (Portrayals)
Elderly parents (Portrayals)
Aging (Biology) (Portrayals)
Adult child abuse victims (Portrayals)
Author: Rule, Belinda
Pub Date: 05/01/2011
Publication: Name: Hecate Publisher: Hecate Press Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 Hecate Press ISSN: 0311-4198
Issue: Date: May, 2011 Source Volume: 37 Source Issue: 1
Topic: NamedWork: Mum 2 (Poem)
Accession Number: 268220752
Full Text:
Somewhere out in the world you are aging, shrinking in on
yourself: a little brown leaf. Only a little of what will happen in time
has yet happened but still, you are the age your father was when he
died, angry, just retired, paper-faced and rotting inside. I hear of you
only second-hand, now, and most of what I hear is that you speak ill of
me, which is an injury softened by use and accustomment almost to
melody: an old song sung by a voice in a crowd, as I pass on a bicycle,
the tune, in the instant of remembrance, already swept away.
 What I did hear is this: your tender toes, shoved too young in
high-heeled shoes, have had their day in court at last. They point now,
fixed, at the sky, or perhaps up at you, accusing. A therapeutic shoe is
prescribed, round-toed, laced-up, institutional, like something they
would force on an inmate's curled and rigid foot in the bad old
days of Larundel.
To have all that shopping, the Three Card Monte of clothes thrown and
thrown on the bed like a technicolour autumn erupting indoors, the
choosing, the changing, the posing, the prancing
       --to have it come to this: a shoe like the shoe of a person who
cannot be trusted to shit unsupervised. What a wound to your febrile
vanity. What a torching of your best, your most devoted plans.
This is the birthright I have lost: to hear you speak of this. And to
write it in the book of me, to know it is coming for me too, the wound
to my febrile vanity, the torch to my most devoted plans. I will go into
age alone, mapless.
And oh, already a faint lithograph print of the creases on your old
woman's face has settled across my face, a spider's web in
your wicked image. There is perhaps no use in puling over this, the
march of time has never given a fuck for a single living thing before,
so why should it start with us.
So hard I have fought, on the subject of you, to be the person on the
bicycle, always just passing through. Cruel that the labour should end
in this: I've gathered so much speed that I've careened past
everyone, and am delivered, alone, to an empty horizon. The land here is
reed-grassed, sandy, pillowed like a quilt. Beyond the dunes, the sand
descends to an unknown shore.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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