Stuck In A Box. Mother believed when my maker calls me to Glory She expected me to transit straight past Purgatory, Surely Saint Peter will welcome me as a fellow saint With my unblemished record, no cause for complaint? From the very moment I said my first word Mother said 'the ideal girl is seen but not heard,' Dumb obedience to Mother, as per Godly tradition And my Catholic mom was a mother with a mission. Just once I brought up the issue of whence I came, 'Where's Dad, what's his name, do we look the same?' From the back of the bible she withdrew an old photograph, She spat 'see, Child- some bastard's father and my lesser half.' One day, reflecting in the mirror in the bathroom I discovered a secret garden now beginning to bloom, From that forgotten quarter sprung a scrubby triangle- Add to which the itchy hair-raising fact of pits in a tangle. So then mother lectured me on right and wrong, The only wine, on communion, one Him, Hymn song, Making plain to me I had a face only a mother might like, 'Be as a nun- popularity with boys means being the town bike.' She instilled the virtues of virtue as I sprang up, Thanked God when He 'blessed' me with an A cup, I'd longed to look swell in a tight come-hither gown, My one foray in going strapless led to a dressing down. Together mother dear and the priest had a talk with me; It seems boys, booze and blazing were the Unholy Trinity, One Sunday I stood 'tween 'em, before the whole congregation, On my breast a white bow, confirming my good God reputation. She must have seen this as being a mothers finest hour, Pressing a Father's service to protect her innocent flower, Yep, Mother and Father Riley had my best interests at heart, Father said 'God forgives your sins,' mother said 'but don't start.' Mother had me wear clothes designed to say 'Nothing to see here,' swaddled in swathes of grey, Who or what lay deep beneath was anybody's guess? Designed less to go out and impress than kneel and confess.
- - - - - - - - -I've said 'goodbye' to Mother, she's snapped nothing back, I've hung up my black coat, slung my veiled hat on the rack, I've taken his picture from her good book before I put it away; From forgotten book-mark to being framed and put on display. Ma had finally told the tale of a girl, new to town, alone, Of the interest in her predicament a gentleman had shown When she rested her weary seat on the step of the Flatbush Inn, Of how he'd dined and wined her, how easily she'd been taken in. Now Ma's in Heaven (if all went as she planned) And I'm finally free of her heavy restraining hand, It's time to cast off my cardigans and her puritan views, Now comes the time to take up offers she felt I had to refuse. Cardigan unbuttoned, I re-evaluated Gods gift, My small prospects required no underwired lift, It was plainly time to jettison my drab underwear, I went into the closet to find what I'd secreted there... I slipped on my silk slightly padded bra, fiery red, A thong to hide my modesty, if barely by a thread, A tiny black dress to ensure my honour would be lost, I've no desire to keep temptation at bay or legs crossed. I recalled the words mother was wont to say If she suspected her daughter may be led astray, 'Child, if you wish to go to heaven, to pluck the lyre, Abstain, for drink and smoke serve but to stoke the fire.' So I went in to the bar, the repository of all sin, Scarce sat down when a man turned with a grin, An absinthe in one hand, a Camel butt in the other, Just the kind of devil who'd be condemned by Mother. Oh, I recognised the danger, that I cannot deny, Seen through the glass sparkly, that look in his eye, Which one of us two poor souls appeared more shocked? This angel wantonly falling or the good priest unfrocked?
A bit different from the usual offerings, but somewhere along the way the idiot muse took me somewhere unexpected. Ah well, it's the journey I suppose...