An imagined apology from my abusive mother

My love in life was seeing the world.

To be precise, it was sunning my soul.


I came alive on my summer holiday:

my skin could cope with all those rays.


My problem was, I couldn’t see beyond

those speckles of sun. I was just too fond


of easy-bronzed skin to see that my girls

were curled to wizened, before-their-time whirls.


A strip of hurt they might just tolerate

but, in later years, they felt victims of Fate.


It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t really know

that love and abuse could be bedfellows.


I thank the wisdom of my first-girl is called

to cancel the bits that left her appalled.


She learnt from me how to be what I’m not:

she’s now reaching out to heal what I hurt.

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