BIG TENT POETRY
'What I wish I'd said'
HAVE A NICE ONE!
Normally, I am polite,
Saying what I think is right.
When the check-out girl says 'Have a nice day!'
I respond in time-honoured way.
'You, too, dear' I tend to mumble,
Being all abject and humble.
Pretending that I can't see through
The little ruse she's addicted to!
'Make them think you care' They say,
The Bosses, directing this little play.
Sadly, we caught it from the Yanks!
Now hairdressers and shops and banks
Are parroting in the same old way
'Mind how you go, love! Have a nice day!
Tomorrow I'm planning to rebel,
I'm popping right out of my shell!
As soon as I hear the awful phrase
My lungs I'll fill, my voice I'll raise,
And everybody standing by
Will hear my revolutionary cry!
"You wouldn't care if I dropped down dead!
Those are stupid words you've said!
You've ruined my day, if you must know,
I came in here feeling all aglow,
Full of genial bonhomie!
Now, my lady, look at me!
I'm stressed and fretful, full of bile!
I feel like wrecking a shopping aisle!
I feel like lifting you off your feet
And throwing you out into the street!
I'd like to go home to a cup of tea
And a couple of biscuits, maybe three,
But because of the state you've put me in
I'm going home to a bottle of gin!
Then I'll get a headache: I always do!
And, sweetheart, that's because of YOU!
Your words have made me lose the plot!
Will I have a nice day?
I will NOT!
Max when he first stood unaided. He is now almost four!
I thought I'd remember, forever,
Those 'milestones' of which people spoke!
Weight at birth, then first word, and first friendships!
Forget them? That would be a joke!
I thought that affection preserved them,
Every detail I'd know from the start.
There was nothing on earth could erase them,
Those 'milestones' engraved on my heart.
But, forget them I have, I admit it,
Their statistics now pass in a blur.
And yet at the time, they engulfed me,
Causing such an emotional stir!
Now sometimes my middle-aged children,
Who're parents themselves by this time,
Request a statistic to guide them
And my blank look is almost a crime!
They ask for 'first words' or 'first teacher'!
They ask me 'Did I act this way?'!
I look like an uncaring Mother
For I've simply got nothing to say!
They slip through our fingers, those moments,
Which seemed set in concrete back then.
And I mourn, in contemplative moments,
For they'll never be babies again.