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I Don’t Know What Went So Wrong That Day



I don’t know what went so wrong that day.

It happened before my life began.

You fell in love with a young man

Turning that man into my father.

You forgot, however, to turn that man

From bigot to liberal

An emotional bully was his nature.

He raised his children as if a Sergeant Major.

I don’t know what went so wrong that day.

It happened when I was about four.

You loved a man, a first-aid carer.

He knew how to reset a broken bone.

He also knew how to break them, too.

A few weeks in hospital for you

Separate foster homes for us provided,

Love, we all shared, now subdivided

I don’t know what went so wrong that day.

It happened when I was just about seven.

The man you loved held a knife to your throat.

Yet you turned the other cheek once again.

He forgot to turn away from his violence,

Turn from his destructive ways

His terror, hot like molten metal,

Similar to Mr Hyde without Dr Jekyll.

I don’t know what went so wrong that day.

It happened when I was just about nine.

The man you loved was so ashamed

That you wanted to help your ailing father,

You forgot he cared less than nought,

For parents, grandparents, or siblings

He considered others an abject annoyance

Pursuing a regime of active avoidance

I don’t know what went so wrong that day.

It happened when I was just about ten.

You loved a man with little compassion.

Your pre-married life caught you up.

You forgot he was easily embarrassed.

When you show hurt,

When you show pain,

You were nothing more than a failure again.

I don’t know what went so wrong that day.

It happened when I was about ten.

You loved a man of contradiction.

He couldn’t love yet desired to adopt.

You were unconvinced by his humanity.

For his orphaned nephew,

For his blood,

If he couldn’t adopt him, then no one else should.


I don’t know what went so wrong that day.

It happened when I was about eleven.

You loved a man hell-bent on a new child.

Adopt the offspring of a wayward mother,

You forgot what a great parent he said he was.

Another child to raise his way this time.

Press restart as default,

Prove the unworthy attic flowers weren't his fault.

I don’t know what went so wrong that day.

It happened when I was about sixteen.

You loved a man hated by his children.

They all left home in '76.

You forgot to warn him it was happening.

Two got married and moved immediately.

His other, myself, disappeared from his gaze.

You and his adopted child left to his power craze.

I don’t know what went so wrong that day.

It happened when I was about twenty-one.

You loved a man who cared nothing for his offspring.

He needed and wanted to control and divide us.

We forgot what a bastard he was.

Clenched fists flying till the blood flowed,

He got his prize.

I left you at his mercy. I apologise.


I don’t know what went so wrong that day.

It happened when I was about thirty.

You loved a man unaffected by family tragedies.

Your youngest son emigrated,

Omitting to inform him, that it was your fault.

Again, I left you.

I could no longer stay.

I promise to return to you someday.

I don’t know what went so wrong that day.

It happened when I was about forty.

You loved a man of the people, for the people.

Someone should have organised a revolution.

They forgot to curtail his onerous leadership.

Railroading what the people want

Social care decisions for himself,

Resident committee by himself.

I don’t know what went so wrong that day.

It happened when I was in my late fifties.

You loved a man and loved him for sixty years.

He’d degraded you beyond belief.

You never forgot to tell him daily of your love,

Several near-attempts to kill you

Basic dignities denied.

Unfortunately, you gave in to him and died.

I don’t know what went so right that day.

It happened when I was in my sixties.

The man you loved alone for all those years died,

Sycophants arranged his funeral rites

He left unable to be a role model,

Or someone I was likely to miss

We’re all free of his strife.

The dictatorial turnkey no longer locks the doors of life.




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