A poem by an abused yellow ribbon

I’m a yellow ribbon, a strip of citrine satin.

I have to stay in place or something bad will happen.

My favourite shape on earth is the cutest of all bows.

But woe betide my fate if I slip or make a show.

I’m always a close match for my Era’s underwear.

Any sense of contrast prompts her mother’s evil stare.

She ties me tight with fingers that feel they’re full of hate.

Era sits so calmly still, afraid to aggravate

the rage that simmers low in her mother’s uptight jaw,

prone to bubble up and spout its vengeful, spiteful law.

I’m meant to know my place, not venturing round or out.

To the rules of hair-braid ribbons, I’m perfectly devout.

If I ever dare to sin, end up all a-tangle,

I hate to feel mom’s wrath, and Era in a wrangle.

My satin is not meant to be pulled with cruel intent,

but my dangling yellow threads cause heated argument.

I know I am to blame for a temporary lapse of hold.

My lack of self-control’s bound to cause a slapping scold.

If I had stayed done up, Era’s tears might cower inside.

But that witch of a mother? She’s always time to chide.

I’d like to wrap my softness around my Era’s cheek

But she’s stinging from the slap. She dare not make a squeak.

In Era’s inner world, I guess she’s a rainbow child.

I wish instead of blows I could be her source of smiles.

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