somebody else’s shocking story

she once told
of how and far
she’d run off
with a rockstar
real one
she was 18
and though she said it herself
truly beautiful
there was
a commotion at home
it had been brewing
art school was her aim
but not her parents’
safety first
was what they wanted
she ran away
in retaliation 
you might say
in any case 
his guiding star didn’t
last the pace
and her own 
fell to earth
where she got lugged
back to home & hearth
you know what
my parents gave me
for my 21st? 
a vacuum cleaner!
a cruel joke
she wonders now
a punishment perhaps
or just plain crass –
and how!
I felt my future
was hoovering wife
turned out it was
I’ve been at it for life
art went out the window
she married young
to a safer man perhaps
not a stranger
had three children
one very much younger
and felt this child
her deserved reward
not backward
she was
so beautiful 
so intelligent
so perfect
so popular
such a school favourite
she could 
scare believe it 
’til out of the blue
this paragon revolted too:
her mother was summoned
it seems the beauty had called
her favoured teacher
a fucking cunt 
from then on
she was nothing but 
as bad as bad could be
she was thirteen
and lost like the father 
who’d fled his marriage
and his own wild child
leaving changeling and mother
to fend for themselves 
not for each other
so what happened after?
oh how strangely strange
the changeling changed again
she’s in her forties now
it’s claimed without blame
still so beautiful
still so childless
so big in business
she hadn’t even noticed
the glass ceiling
on her effortless way 
to the cream
of the milky way
where she’s not close
we suppose
to her mother
and to any celestial
or earthly body




Jeff Cloves

Illustration Georgina Baillie


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