The Quiet Matriarch - a true reminiscence

She bleated like a lamb when I first brought her home,
She perplexed all my instincts, not two days old.

"Da-da-da", she would coo, so achingly sweet,
The screaming and wailing she saved for me.

She scared me a little, so forthright and bold -
A fledgling Joan of Arc, at three years old.

Her furious flames licked around my chagrin,
A glower, a jam-bobbed, mutinous chin.

I denied her chocolate, she must've been four,
Found keys down the toilet, milk poured in the drawer.

Refused her a cat, she must've been five,
So she squeezed the goldfish 'til barely alive.

I said no to a hamster,  she must've been six,
The snails paid dearly, speared on sticks.

My threadbare nerves jangled in tune
As she ranted at loosing her birthday balloon.

"Buy me a laptop!" was her daily endeavour,
"I'll pay you back when I am clever."

"A quiet matriarch", the teacher described her one day,
"Boadicea", I corrected as I shuffled away.

But she wouldn't break me, of that I was certain,
I would not fail her, as I binned the ripped curtain.

Then, one morning she must've been eight,
Like an Exocet, scorched through the back yard gate,

I braced myself, fast, locked on as her target,
Clutching her picture inside my gold locket.

Then she smiled at me...
A smile so bright, the sunshine paled in its beautiful light,

"I love you", she said as she blazed on by,
That's the first time she ever made me cry.

Written by
Donna Hill

Donna Hill's  prize winning poem, republished.  

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