She caused mayhem for eighty- four long years,

this girl left behind by the film star mother.

She’d slammed as many doors as there were rooms

in her vicar father’s run down manse. Worse,

she fell in love with a loving drunk, a lover

of small unstable boats in wind-torn lagoons.

Always storming out, she would phone back later

that night, explaining how it felt to be nothing

like her mother, but she was. She replayed the leaving

day in day out, trusting us to love the hater.

People of course washed their hands. Nothing

had prepared them for this form of grieving.

The final year turned all that on its head,

she learned to nod and smile at the war

of insults inside her mind. She’d arrived in port,

alone, it’s true, but liked the view from her comfy bed.

Those days, she remembered nothing, more

or less at her ease, kindly, funny, heartful.

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