Mari Maxwell

They tell me I’m someone I’m not.
Have carved and built me into an effigy
I do not recognise, know not.
They who should know me.
Think I’m emotional,
believe I’m hallucinating.
Some even speak it,
– murderer,
Or bury me so deep I no longer exist.
Choose not to engage
in the hopes this too will pass.
If we do not speak of it, it will never have
Remain silent so I can be proved the fraudster.

I wonder where their rage lies
Other than at me.
You mother dearest,
take so much.
As you did alive.
And Father?
The one who should shoulder so much,
is seldom spoke of.
Or the youngest who promised them
he’d get his dues, what he was sure were his rights.
And how often they spoke of how he would do it.
The dirty deed.
The murders.
The thieving.
The lies and betrayals.
For years they knew of his plans, his ways.
Blaming you was so very easy.
The choices you’d made.
You didn’t hide it.
Survival it was.
Even at the cost of your own self.
Even at the loss of your children,
your grandchildren, your great–grandchild,
your family.

Until it was just you.
And him.

Not once did they see
the terror in your gaze, a mother’s love of child,
How you must have been torn.
Instead they thought you –
Not once did they see the strength
It took
To be pushed against the wall,
To take fist against cheek,
Hear the crack of a collar bone,
His slap upon the head,
All the while knowing your very children
were nodding heads, sagely, in agreement.

Your choice.
Your decisions.
Competent woman.

But they forgot the mother.
The bond with child.
The very one that protected him,
sheltered them.
There was no other way.
As you, yes you chose,
to buffer them against
a madness no mother could bear witness.
Her own flesh and blood.
Discard her so easily.
For the quick buck in a bank account.
His thrill at his siblings’ impotent rage.
While behind him,
you protected from a wrath few would have
Could have imagined or endured.

Other than the mother who bore the child,
who chose matricide.


World Elder Abuse Awareness Day UN Declaration of Human Rights European Year for Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity Towards a Society for All Ages