she wants answers

I worked with her dad

now deceased

some years ago

& she has just found out

he was not her biological father

& wishes to know stuff

I tell her he loved her

what else is there?

her mothers’ infidelity

that he bore it well?

but she wants answers

I suggest she talk to her mother

but that don’t sit right


I just want to talk with him

she goes

& I gently suggest

your mother is the actor

in all of this

go ask her

she gets all upset she says

but no

she loved her dad the best

& wants to know


from the one who

stayed silent so long


being the

smuggled bird in the nest

my mother ran away

when I was a toddler

& later they told me

as if that was not enough

I was not my fathers son

leaving me the cuckoo

struggling in their nest

an orphan with parents

doing their best

to convince me

that I was the mad one

the cuckoo bird

that didn’t belong


It was December
all the time in my early teens
we’d rowed again
my parents & me
not a misunderstanding
it was an oh too much understanding
I was not like them
this hungry cuckoo bird in the nest
they talked so much of responsibility
while evidencing little
my mistakes
were for scrutiny
not so much
at all
so I left
nowhere to go
but stay seemed impossible
slept on a pile of bricks
under a plastic liner
no sleeping bag
& my brain froze
would not let me sleep
which was very probably a good thing
to keep me alive
& I learned
the best way to be invisible
is to show
your need
do that & the crowd
will walk right on by
while having conversations about care
social responsibility
& their love of charity
in front of you
they too are frozen

Just another shack job

we shacked together a couple of years
& were just starting to get real tired
of each others shit
& then came Christmas
we were invited over to her mothers
they were to let us sleep together
recognition of our living in sin
things started well
I bought her mum a poinsettia
her dad & me got on nodding terms
then I took her brother in law
out for a few drinks
he got wasted
threw up over himself
tripped over pavement
got bloodied
& of course
all of this was my fault
the reasoning being
he’d never done this before
my reasoning was more
maybe he’d not yet had the opportunity
last I looked
the cat was having a ball
then came Christmas day
family gathered to open presents
all went quiet as she reached over
picked up this little bag
I’d put on the tree
opened it up
looked inside
silver charms for her bracelet
more silence
as it began to dawn
their daughter was
just another shack job
there was
to be no romantic Christmas
engagement ring
their cosy nest held a cuckoo
I was not to be part of the family