Raising kids at pension age
was never what we had in mind.
Planting crops at the start of winter,
you may not look on what you’ve grown
and who will reap what we have sown?
Who will love the ugly sister?
The older always looks to the younger
for approval or a spelling-check,
while the younger yearns for a bolt-hole
and the weight from around her neck;
chalking on the blackboard over and over –
can I be someone else in summer?
When boyfriends descend from some distant
zombie planet, the generation gap will bawl
across abysses; if by some miracle
they seek advice, we won’t remember
how to give it. We’ll have to tell them
to share with older siblings.
Oh, we’ll be cursed in years to come
by either one or both of them.
They’ll yearn to turn to their birth-mum
and seek the alcoholic deadbeat father
to compare similarities of feature.
This won’t turn out happy ever after.
We shall move to sheltered housing
where incontinence and cabbage
will wrestle for supremacy
with babes born out of marriage,
wearing last week’s unchanged nappies
and hopelessly incongruous names.
Or we’ll forget to tell them
our address has changed.
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Raymond Miller would
be pleased to hear them.