She Needs That Edge (i) – (vii)


She hates him making her safe.
Remembers times when she

searched her pockets and the sofa
for fag money and the floating

ten pound note she would give
to him and him to her when they were short.

“Life is boring when there’s no edge to it.” she says.


“There should be summat to fight for!
Who needs an easy road,
without people and obstacles,
so there’s nothing
to work around,

nothing to tell tales,
weep, wail and witter,
scrimp, scrape and scratter,
gripe, grieve and grapple about?”


He wants the comfy chair,
in front of the TV.
All bills paid, no mortgage,
home fit to live in.
An easy going on.

Only he likes strong, passionate
women. They rearrange him,
upset, rattle and upside down him
with tirades about what
he hasn’t done, what they think
he’s done, what they think he’s about.

She’ll do time
for next bloke
doles his fist
at her, on her, in her.

Next one who controls
like her mother.

Him, ligged out sozzled
on her sofa when
there’s chores to be done.

Expects meat and two veg.,
won’t change his habits,
go places, do stuff.


You’re mandled, mollycoddled.
Need to be chivied and mithered.

Too long seen you topple
your Mam and Dad grab
you up, smartish, to console.

Too much smothered
when deep in debt,
pulled out the mire,
dusted down and placed
on decent path, again.

Not fended and fought,
bended and bought,
mended your own path,
cleared undergrowth,
tramped and stamped
with your own sore feet.

No blisters and sores,
cuts and grazes you’ve picked
washed out ingrained grit,
gravel while grimaced.


And he would say if he could:
“Not everyone’s your mother!
Not everyone’s after making
you miscarry that faith in yourself.

Pregnant with youthful confidence,
she had you haul her heavy boned
bloated hatred that you were ever born
from room to room, up
and down steep stairs to inflict
a bloody carcass on your womb.

You did as she asked but ensured
that little bairn gave
you a reason to go on.
A clear eye to nuture.
A warmth to cuddle.
A life to save.”


” I’m not going to seed
sat on my arse.
Alzheimer fodder.

Comfort zones are killing zones.
Once, I was hard as nails.

You’re useless.
Used to be someone
to butt up against.
Challenge me.

You’ve made me soft, and I’ve let you.

Never knew how exhausted
I was. Batteries recharged.

I’ll stay with you, for now.

A daily reminder

of what I don’t need.

I need a gun to my head.

A knife at my throat.

I’ll put me back
in the fire.”

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