Today's poem is by Marilyn Longstaff
Opposite Freedom Fields Park, 1961
My mother, in a fit of whimsy, locked us out,
decided we should walk, like tradesmen,
down the full length of the terrace front,
then back to enter through the yard
and scullery, keeping the new hall carpet
One day, so tired from grammar school,
I camped out on the front step, with my bags,
my gabardine mack folded like a cushion;
I rang, then rapped, then howled and cried, then sat
a battle of wills I'd never win.
The minutes then the hours passed. Eventually,
hungry, broken, cold, I had to give in.
After some months, she altered the regime
forgot, couldn't be arsed picked some other
weird and wonderful, meaningless power ritual.
I chose defiance, Frank kept quiet, then left,
Howard fled the country.
What did I learn?
don't bother knocking
find another way in
there are no rules worth keeping.
Copyright © 2017 Marilyn Longstaff All rights reserved
from Articles of War
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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