I came to the house on the hill when I was eleven,
And I was left there shivering and unsure.
My mother never loved my father,
A man who even at the best of times was a drunk and a gambler.
Whether she loved me was a question I thought of habitually
And to some great extent,
With little in the way of conclusion.
She would often smile at me, and give empty little hugs.
She would even press cold lips to eager skin,
Pecking me on the check before heading out for work in the mornings,
If I was awake
And she willing.
But when he died,
A funeral of boredom and passivity,
She held me close only once
Before deciding on the safest place to stay.
And so it was that when she waved goodbye,
I kept my hands firmly by my sides
And when she said she loved me
I frowned and shook my head reluctantly.
Mothers are fragile creatures,
So anything more would have been unkind.
Two days at the house and I knew what was wrong.
Me, I’m afraid to say.
I just wasn’t built right.