your life would have been different
if your mother had lived,
mum told dad.
a poisonous creature from the first, he killed
the unknown mother even as she gave him life.
(septicaemia they called it.)
unwanted, a real handful, he was
passed along from one
dour widow aunt to another,
then into the hands
of the unwilling young step-mother.
she’d married the air force officer
not his brat. you bitch
i wish you were dead,
dad told mum,
and with every shove, every punch,
every fist in her face,
he evened the score.