I shoulda been more studious when I went to school
I shoulda had more boundaries and stuck to the rules
I shoulda stuck with writing like my teachers expected
I shoulda kept trying til my style was perfected
I shoulda gone to college, and overcome my fear
Instead of being a loser and ending up here

I shoulda seen my father’s weaknesses and flaws
I shoulda realised what a messer he was
Instead of being groomed by his discouraging tongue
I shoulda closed my ears to him when I was young
I shoulda respected my mother’s praise
I shouldn’a wasted those precious days

I shoulda backed off when that man walked my way
I shoulda closed my heart and locked it away
I shoulda listened to my friends when they said he was taken
I shoundn’a pretended that they must be mistaken
I shoulda built a life that didn’t rely
On distant thoughts of that unsuitable guy

I shoulda shown more love to the man who loved me
I should’na been so desperate to wriggle free
I shouldn’a left him for a life of abuse
with the wrong kind of guy and a different kind of noose
I should’a walked away as soon as I knew
but he was eating my brain, so what could I do?

I shouldn’a let myself get chipped and torn
Too damaged to care for my third and forth born
Too beaten to fight for my two older girls
But I’m forgiving myself as my life unfurls
I won’t let the past taint our way of living
I’ve learnt the skill of taking, and the beauty of giving

Β©Jane Paterson Basil

Written for Writing 101: Day 2


38 thoughts on “Shoulda

  1. Shoulda – great title for an excellent poem. How looking back and acknowledging some things makes us shudder – deliberate play on words for title or one of those things? Curiosity getting the better of me again! It’s difficult saying you enjoyed writing that reflects abuse and pain but you know what I mean πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The similarity hadn’t even occurred to me until now. It’s funny, because in the North of England, when they say shudder, it sounds like shouda.
      I always enjoy writing rappy poems, (except one particular one I wrote earlier this year, about my troubled daughter. That was painful, but it came out well, so it was worth it.) and the subject is an old one which I’ve aired many times before, one way or another.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. πŸ˜€ maybe subconscious then πŸ™‚ these things have a way of just weaving themselves through in creative work. I live in the Midlands, where many, especially from the northern suberbs of my city, also pronounce the ‘u’ in a short sound in a similar way to those in northern England. And to southern England, the Midlands is the North!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I felt a bit stupid when I read your AMAZING post for today, and realised you were English. These days I tend to assume everyone I find on WordPress is American.
          I live in North Devon, so, yes, you’re beyond London – that’s oop North to oos!

          Liked by 1 person

        1. I should go to bed now. It’s just gone midniight, and I’m meant to be starting a new regime. I promised my son I’d start going to bed earlier. (He also made a promise, which he’s kept so far)
          Maybe I’ll just check to see if tomorrow’s project is in…

          Liked by 1 person

    1. These days I have trouble writing anything other than poetry, so I no longer fight it. I expect all of my assignments will be written as poetry.
      If you check it again, and read it out, you’ll see that it’s kind oflike a rap.

      Liked by 1 person

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