SKELETONS 2

SKELETONS

 

I DON’T TALK ABOUT RELIGION OR POLITICS

said

NAN, WHEN I TRIED TO MAKE CONVERSATION

ABOUT HOW GREAT IT WAS

NELSON MANDELA WAS FREE.

EYES DOWN! OR YOU’LL MISS A NUMBER

TO CALL OUT BINGO!

DAD said BABBY! DO YOU HAVE TO

DRAG THE SKELETONS OUT OF THE WARDROBE?

WISHING HE COULD STEP INTO A STATELY

HOME THAT WAS HIS OWN,

AS A GENTLEMAN

IN ‘PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.’

THEY ALL SPOKE POLITELY,

NO SHOUTING AND SWEARING, AND DIDN’T DISCUSS

ILLIGITIMACY WITH THEIR DAUGHTERS, HE STATED

WHILE DRIVING MY SISTER AND I

TO A SHAKESPEARE PLAY,

WHERE KIND WORDS OFT’ SPOKE

BETRAYAL AND TRAJEDY.

WE LAUGHED AT DEAR DELUSIONAL ROMANTIC DAD

AND YELLED – YEAH! AS LONG AS YOU WEREN’T A WOMAN,

BLACK OR POOR !

AND HE TOLD US WE WATCHED TOO

MUCH ‘CHANNEL 4!’

THEY’VE A LOT TO ANSWER FOR, SAID OUR FATHER,

BEING PART TO BLAME

FOR WHY BRITAIN WASN’T GREAT NO MORE!

I AM SPEECHLESS IN THE CUSHY

BACK SEAT OF HIS LATEST CAR,

BUT WRITE A POEM LATER

CALLED,

NAN IS A SKELETON NOW:

HER BONES ARE ASH,

HER NUMBER IS UP

AND POLITICS AND RELIGION COUNT FOR NO WOMAN

WHO HAD TO RUN FROM THE BLACK COUNTRY WITH A BABY INSIDE.

NANS PARENTS STOOD BY AND COVERED HER SHAME

IN BRUM, 1931, SO NO FOLK KNEW THE CHILD

WAS CURSED BY DEUTERONOMY.

THEREFORE, I MUST TAKE AFTER MUM WHO THREW

HER BIRTH DEED IN THE AIR FOR EVERYONE TO STARE

AT THE EMPTY SPACE OF HER FATHERS NAME

PRONOUNCING HE MUST HAVE BEEN

A RED HAIRED CHINA MAN!

NO SHAME, BUT HER FACE TURNED RED

WHEN THE LOCAL PRIEST EASILY GUESSED

HER CATHOLIC ROOTS AND

PURSUED HER UP HEELEY RD

ASKING WHY, FOR THE LOVE OF MARY

SHE HADN’T BEEN SEEN IN CHURCH?

THE REBELLIOUS BLOOD OF A CELTISH LASS

BOILED, REPLIED THAT SHE’D MARRIED

A PRODDY – MADE HER ESCAPE INTO THE BINGO HALL.

LEFT WITH THE LEGACY OF

BASTARD SECRETS,

SIBLINGS GET ON WITH THEIR OWN LIVES,

KEEPING MUM, AND OCCUPY SPANISH LANDSCAPES,

WHILE THIS GRAND-DAUGHTER

KEEPS DIGGING TILL ANOTHER BONE STICKS

OUT OF THE EARTH, AND WITH THE ENERGY

IT TOOK HER FOREFATHERS TO REACH FOR COAL

 

WITH DADS PROUD PROTESTANT WORK ETHIC ,

I CONNECT HIM TO

THE IRISH BRANCH SO CLOSE TO THE BONE;

PAY – BACK FOR SNIPING AT MY

SYMPATHY OF THE BIRMINGHAM SIX –

ITS CHILDISH, I KNOW, THIS SPITTLE OF WORDS

I DARE TO CONJURE FROM A RICH DEPOSIT,

BUT LET US BE TRUE AND NOT DENY.

REALLY FATHER, YOU DON’T HAVE TO WINCE

EACH TIME I SEND ANOTHER POEM;

I SAY GET THEM SKELETONS LOOSE AND DANCE

THE DIRT AND MUCKY SOD OFF

SO WE CAN SIT AROUND THE HEARTH

AND RELATE A GOOD STORY

WE CAN ALL REFLECT ON, AND DRINK TO THAT,

ME OLD DAD; THE LOVE THAT MAKES ME BURST

THE BUBBLE AND SING FOR ME SUPPER

AND WATCH YOUR EYES ROLL OVER!

 

 Julie McNeill

(c)copyright Sept.2006

  POST-SCRIPT: SORRY DAD, SPOKE TOO SOON, AGAIN.

GENEOLOGY FACTS FOUND IN CYBER-SPACE SAY

YOU ARE A SON OF
HIGGINS, BREDON BORN –

BAPTISED AND BURIED AS HARDWORKING

PEASANTRY FOR THE PARISH.

NO SIGN OF THE IRISH OR THE GENTRY EITHER,

AS IN JANE AUSTIN TIMES OUR GRAND

PARENTS WERE HOWING AND SCYTHING, BAILING,

MAYBE ROLLING IN THE HAY

AT HARVEST FESTIVAL

BECAUSE THERE ARE A FEW BABES BEING

BLESSED IN THE CHAPEL NINE MONTHS LATER!
 

THE CYCLES OF LIFE CONTINUE – AND DAUGHTERS

STANDING AT THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE

DIG AT THE CONSCIENCE OF THEIR FATHERS,

BECAUSE THEY CAN, WHEN IT IS THEIR ONLY

RECOURSE FOR THE SILENCE – THE ABSENCE

OF CONVERSATION, WHEN ALL THERE IS,

ARE SKELETONS.

 

  (copyright) julie mcneill April 2007

all rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

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