When we were growing up,
My Dad had a lot of rules
My favourite one was:
No pyjamas in the green house
On Thursdays, always Thursdays
he would get the lawn mower out
And take it for a walk.
He didn’t like the dog
He didn’t like to hurt the grass
He was thoughtful about the grass
And the dandelions
He always thought dandelions felt pain
My mother on the other hand
Was quite-people said ‘odd’
Never bought us rain coats or umbrellas
She thought of rain as a test for your eyebrows.
She wore a lot of yellow.
She said that was because
deep down inside somewhere,
She was a dandelion
And dad wouldn’t hurt the dandelions
It didn’t save her, of course
Or us, from him
I wear my pyjamas everywhere now
They are silk, expensive
I have them in every shade
Because wearing yellow won’t save you.
Some days I come home soaking wet
Because I don’t own an umbrella or a rain coat
My eyebrows don’t work the way they should
Even now. Now.
The lawn mower sits in the shed
The dog is long since dead
The grass grows high
The dandelions die.
I visit her grave, his is far away, I never go
There are things children should never have to know.