Writing for the States of Mind Collection, Mindometry)
-Making Prisms of Meaning.
This family is a square:
at each corner is a child;
the hexagon at its centre
surrounds the lynchpin -
the charismatic mother.
The sides of the hexagon
consist of the beloved dead.
and the generations to come,
who send their own stories
swinging onwards and backwards
Child One: Boy One
She wanted to make you brave like her
but she should have loved you more.
You are the tender one, your bruised personality
springing out of injury and unintended hurt -
loving music, following fashion
playing out the role of victim
with justified conviction
your hesitancy hiding
a romantic heart
that crashed and broke too early.
Child Two: Girl One
You were the feisty one -
the most like her, with your hot temper
and your challenging demeanour.
She was bound to steal your cigarettes
and smoke them to teach you a lesson
You were bound to be the one to test her to the limits,
to call her grown-up bluff. In the end,
you built your wall of worldly success and family life.
So, defeated, she was driven to surrender
her power and ultimately keep her distance.
Child Three : Girl Two
You idolised and feared your mother
and tried to please her with cups of tea.
And – your stories between hard covers.
Needy and watchful, with your eagle eyes,
your bat-like ears, you tried to make sense of the language
and action around you - at first without understanding.
But you forgot nothing. Your primal perceptions became
Memories which you wove into stories that both hid
and revealed a difficult truth. To know you
the world would need to decode your stories
and fact or fiction - fabricate its own prisms of meaning
Child Four: Boy Two
You were the last, the final product
of a soul-mating-bond cut off too early.
You were her baby, her ewe lamb:
clever and self-determined.
Normally frugal, she’d make any sacrifice for you –
sweets and bikes galore, demonstrating pride
and admiration. I remember the day when,
bold as ever, after diving with too much ardour
into a stony shallow river, you came home
with a bloody chest.
I watched her pick out the small stones
and bandage you gently,
with a nurse’s care.
(C) Wendy Robertson 2017