It all happened
Once Upon A Time, like in the fairy tales, but
it went backwards
opposite and upside down
like he was in Alice in Wonderland
and the wicked stepmother was not a stepmother at all;
with no pointed chin or sharp daggers for eyes.
Instead she looked like a princess
with a gentle face and round, brown eyes
like a mother.
She was good at goodness
at being kind
at loving him in front of everybody’s eyes
and making him think
it wasn’t so bad, after all.
But she was also good at
and hitting and smacking,
at giving him the belt
and the switch
and sometimes the slipper.
And in his fairy tale
there was no kind, gentle father.
There was no father.
“Gone,” she’d say of him, “drunk somewhere.
With a *****.
If he was here
he’d **** you.”
his father would come back and
live up to his promise
until there was nobody left to ****
because they were all dead and destroyed
and their clothes mopped up their own blood
and when he was sobered enough to realise what he’d done
he’d stand over them,
over his drunken mistakes
over just who he had
with his own knife, who he had cut
jagged shapes into their flesh,
torn pieces of them away
like he had drunk away pieces of himself;
an eye for an eye;
an equal pound of their fair flesh,
cut off and taken,
like a jewel in the night.
But no father came,
and he stayed dissatisfied and alive
and his mother came
and belted him
whenever she pleased.
He grew up dissatisfied,
and anger grew in his bloodied heart,
bleeding with the pain of it
growing to despise his father’s ******
even more than he despised his father
and his mother
He learnt all their names:
and Stride and Eddowes
And he stalked the streets,
for they had lain with his father
and had wronged him
by leaving him
alone with his mother
and the belt
and the switches,
and if they wronged him,
should he not revenge?
I wrote this one back in 2017 so it's probably not my greatest work. I'm fond of it though, in the same way a parent's fond of their child's paintings.