• Phoebe Wilby

Facade


I thought I'd do something a bit different for today's blog. I'm going to include a poem from the lost words I very recently found.


You will know I use events from my life to inspire my writing and this poem is no different. It was inspired by my mother - but not in the way you might think when you read it! Like most mothers (and I know I've done this myself) my mum would be angry with us, usually deserved, and would be giving us a mild telling off. Then, when the phone rang she would turn to the phone, grab the handset off the wall and, with honey dripping from her lips say:


"Hello, Helen speaking. Can I help you?"


As I always do, I've used that memory and exaggerated it to describe a loveless life. My life with my mother was not like this, I hasten to add. For the most part, I have had a wonderful relationship with my mum and we speak weekly, even though we are separated by thousands of miles. However, I have experienced the sentiments in this poem. Just not about my mum ...


I wrote this at a very difficult time in my life, between marriages and very vulnerable myself. Perhaps I was subconsciously looking for someone to blame for my troubles at the time. Perhaps I was just looking for an outlet for pent up emotions and found it in my poetry at the time. Not all my poems from that time are like this one, however!


I've given the poem the title "About Face" or on another occasion, called it "Facade". Either title works ...


I see you still.

The face you showed the world

I never did enjoy.

Such sweetness, kindness,

Love was not for me.

Resentment, anger, malice

Was my lot.

Forced upon you from my hour of birth

I should have been a boy.

I hear you still.

Vitriolic words pour from your lips.

I cringe, awaiting violence

Saved only by the trill

Of sweet interruption

As the world calls for you.

They hear your sweetness,

Never guessing at the bile

That lies beneath the surface of your smile.

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© 2015 by Phoebe Wilby.