the things I’ve done for you
this is all the thanks I get
she snarls she cries out she weeps
you hated mum and now me
we tell ourselves she doesn’t mean it
except maybe somewhere inside she does
perhaps a cup of tea
but she sobs
rocks about in her chair
and closes down

she is older than us
a kind of aunty
who looked after us as kids
gave us presents
took us for holidays

now she’s mad
I don’t know why
I can’t explain how it struck
we must just wait
let the hate pass
it’s not real it’s her madness

sometimes she switches to joy
to longing for a perfect world
embracing family and friends
seeing beyond now
to when we love one another
do good to our friends
bless our enemies
but it is a love
that adds to our sorrow
heartsick or elated
it’s still not her

when she comes back
we’ll keep this sorrow to ourselves
carry on as though
she never went away