How to Milk a Snake
It was your grandmother played into uncle’s hands,
sending him down each evening  to ‘do the garden’,
after cancer had consumed your dad.
Mum, knowing his catalogue model looks
had captured both your grandmother's and aunts’ hearts,
forced to listen each evening to his obscene suit.
You became her body guard.  Deadlock in the kitchen
as uncle must censor his speech,
his small talk finally running dry in the early hours.
His ‘I want a woman who turns heads’ to your aunt,
like detonating a dirty bomb, pitching the family into civil war ,
the only solution, you and mum exiled 50 miles away.
In her new life’s solitary confinement ,
she listened, gulping wine, to his nightly sex chat calls,
milking him £40 a week for the service.
Eventually he sloped off to singles nights, remarried,
meantime mum had met the lodger,
a man who demanded more for his money.

Fiona Sinclair

If you have any comments on this poem, Fiona Sinclair would be pleased to hear from you.