No, shed no tears for I need them not

by John (@bookdreamer)
(Bristol, UK)

In Fairy stories the youngest son of three,
discovers a forgotten secret to free
him of his family, where older brothers
are stupid and ignorant of fairy godmothers.

The secret came when I was nearly nine,
me Mam, a colleen once with dreams so I’ve
been told. And yes, my brothers were tall and vacant.

My princess of a wife thought this insignificant.
’We have a future, so forgive,’ she tried to extol,
with woodland babes innocence, to cajole
a final closure. For the wolf must do jigs,
around the sties rebuilt for jolly pigs.

But I had fooled her with a ‘lie’ of flabby grey, repulsive
half-rotted, ulcerous flesh, seen through an impulsive
rush for comfort as Mam dabbed down with a rag.

It worked. She laughs, ‘Stop with the story brag,’
in mocking brogue. ‘Be the grown man now.’

For love was simple to her. A kissed brow
a touch, or glance would keep a romance fresh.
I only have the echo of bruises and a flesh
that withers cold when fingers reach out.
She had a river of affection, I had a drought.

I made her laugh again by jokes on me.
so I could hide behind a mask of absurdity.

How can I tell her of the wicked witch whose arms grope,
as Mam looked on, to hold me like a hangman’s rope.
Our Mam became Nan as a stranger dims my light,
with her spell, ‘I’m the Mum to love him right.’

My life became a fairy tale, with Mam an also-ran
and each brother, an uncle bogeyman.
With half-heard words, felt only in the bone
now flesh of my flesh so I became alone.

I wait for the and they lived happily ever after end,
when a fairy godmother with magic wand will descend
from sparkling clouds to show how love is not a word
and I as man,and I as boy, will laugh and cry undeterred.

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