You’re young and you’re lovely
with a brick in your head,
smashing your brain with all that he said.
You’ve been moulded by tricks from that blood-stained day
when puberty hit you and took you away,
stealing the cartwheeling freedom of dawn,
leaving you feeling like Satan’s spawn.
You want to turn back but you can’t find the track
and the future is burning and turning black,
while all of the time he is casting his net,
hinting at filth to make you forget
the caress of the trees and the childish ease
of chasing the early summer breeze.
He is your father but he pushes the bar;
you must concede ’til he pushes too far
and you have to refuse to allow the invasion,
so you turn from his ugly attempts at pursuasion
to coldly seduce you, and from that day
you pretend that it didn’t happen that way,
but you become more wary and don’t let him near,
while you hide your confusing horror and fear
for the father you loved and gazed at with pride,
who you always believed was on your side.
You’ve learnt the worst, he was biding his time
until you blossomed, to attempt his crime,
and you try not to hear when he calls you those names;
you try to pretend life is still the same,
but he whispers his dirty predictions to you
and you hear them so often you think they are true,
threading your life like a string of beads,
polishing each one before he feeds
it on to the lost umbilical cord,
shining that shit with each cheating word
as he weaves his filth into your heart,
telling you woman is simply a tart
and you will reign as the tart supreme,
with ripe juicy peaches and lashings of cream.
Still you look back but your childhood is dead
and your father’s the brick inside your head,
and even long after the day that he dies
he’ll constantly haunt you in living disguise
so that every man that you ever trust
will burn your love and turn it to dust,
and your life will be tainted by all that he said
until passion is spent and your feminine red
ceases to flow, and you get your chance
to escape the drag of the devil’s dance.
©Jane Paterson Basil