Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2011

Bouncing-Back Betty

by Jörn Meyer

She was first violated in the womb
Soon after birth her mother hit her
on the head, a cross around her neck
She held her under water in the bathtub,
swore at her in words that can’t be said
She gave her a baptism of fire
Her Muslim father gave a flying turd
He stole away from the United Kingdom,
a black male making for the primal cradle
to blackmail her for sterling decades on
When she was fostered by fair parents
the pointing game began. Village idiots
felt supreme, pale in comparison to her
Then once she overheard her foster mum’s
child-care complaints across the garden fence,
dirty laundry spoke volumes in white hands
It tore the inner fabric of her soul
When her black mother came to claim
her back and keep her in a city cage
with rats and other rodents,
her foster family sewed sweets against
her bearer’s biterness into her lining
as in a Brothers Grimm tale

Age 17 her foster mum was cut from her
by cancer - and on a bus a very sick boy
called her too ugly and unwanted to be loved,
love never hers to have and to behold
In spite of all she kept a golden heart,
so beautiful a being,
a worrier and warrior alike,
plus a success in life;
she helped herself from bookshelves
And when her dad died, who'd fostered her
regardless of the difference of their blood,
she took a devastating blow again,
yet cried in silence and in grace
The day he left her, though, her love,
it ripped her pretty much apart,
it was a landmine to her heart
on her booby-trapped path
But she is sure to battle on

Added: 26.04.2011