Below are a selection of poems we have been asked to share.
“OMG… I’ve finally tracked you down”
Your timely words seemed meant to be
But you could not have known
How much they’d mean to me.
It’s 40 years since we last met
In that awful place
Where cruelty went unpunished
And justice was disgraced.
There were fireworks in the attic
With confiscated toys
Colouring books were all you had
Designed to mute your noise.
A cold bath if you wet the bed
Stood barefoot in the snow
Food packed to go.
When visitors came the scene was set
To create illusion
Bay windowed lounge unlocked
Just for the occasion.
Well-practiced children on parade
Reciting party pieces
With tea and cake to celebrate
This perilous delusion.
Years Later it came as no surprise
The child crime crier
Was striped and beaten by police
Moved and branded liar.
For I am left in no doubt
Abuse will be denied
As long as truth is worthless
And vested interest amplified.
I won’t feel the loss of losing mum and dad,
Nor being told ‘don’t worry, it’s not that bad’.
Never my own new bedroom, in a brand new house.
Nor family pet, goldfish, dog, cat or mouse.
I won’t feel the love reserved for kids.
I’m just a one line entry on your funding bids.
No welcome home from a long day at school.
You’re only there to apply your rules.
I will never feel wanted, nor welcome here. Your predatory manner only instils fear.
I feel your hate and I sense you loathe.
I am dressed in shame this is how you clothe.
I will never feel the freedom of child.
I am forced to be feral, mean, violent and wild.
I will never know safe and secure, because you rigged the system, so you can’t do more.
I will never know a care free canter back from games or pool.
Nor your support from a touchline, calling the ref a bloody fool.
We will never work in the garden shed. Dad and lad, repairing all that’s dead.
We will never share the passage of time, nor will I look down upon you, knowing proudly your mine.
You’ll never hold my first offspring,
nor will I see you as my Queen and King.
I will feel no love from you or others.
All lost in the noise of absent mothers. You’ve left me here alone to feel.
But nothing here in my world is real.
It can all just vanish at the drop of a hat, when you drive me fifty miles, to another doormat.
Here they might punch, kick, slap, and strap.
But don’t you worry, this is my roadmap.
People, goods, money and life.
All transient entities not worth the strife.
I cannot feel how I know I should.
If the angels could take me, I think they should.
Feel, feel, feel, feel, feel, feel, feel.
This feel you talk of just isn’t real.
I don’t feel your love, nor tears of joy.
I don’t feel your kindness, though I’m your boy.
The day you abdicated was just unreal. For that reason alone, I just can’t feel.
I’ve got holes in my underwear,
and in my socks too,
t-shirts deodorant stained,
and the soles of my shoes worn through.
That’s totally fine though,
Because no one can see,
Under my jumper and jeans,
And see what’s beneath.
The discomfort and embarrassment,
That’s invariably me,
As long as I smile, engage and distract,
All will be fine, well that’s what I keep telling myself.
But as time passes by,
Jumper, jeans become threadbare,
what I’m embarrassed to share.
I desperately need,
some help and support,
To help to replace,
The things I cannot afford.
Before the jeans and the jumper have holes in them too,
Leaving me exposed to the underlying truth,
I’ve been falling apart bit by bit,
Unravelling slowly stich by stich.
Feeling useless, ashamed,
dishevelled and small,
Is humiliating and painful,
leaving no feelings at all.
If I allow myself,
to accept helping hands,
It might not feel,
as if I’m standing in sand.
Believe that I’m worth it,
And step slowly on ground,
That holds my weight firmly,
So I can take stock, look around.
I can peel away,
The old tattered rags,
I’ll be exposing myself but in part I’ll be glad,
As I NOW know its ok to be sad.
One sock at a time,
Ill repair or replace,
And over time,
I’ll shed the disgrace.
Until once again,
I can stand tall and true,
Knowing there are no holes,
In the soles of my shoes.
But from now on I WILL look,
Observe and keep watch,
To prevent holes from appearing,
In my pants and my socks.