Madelaine MannA Poem by David Lewis Paget
What goes around, comes around.
'Pass me my pearl handled brush, and my comb,'
She had said, as she gazed at the glass,
The child had obeyed, though he shuffled and moaned
As he pulled at his pretty pink dress.
'Be still with you, child! Learn some patience and grace,
Wipe that scowl off your face - do you hear?
Just be a good girl, and I'll powder your face,
Tie ribbons up high in your hair.'
The boy bit his lip, and he stared at his aunt
In the mirror; she simpered and smiled,
Her lips were so thin and so twisted in sin
Though she thought she was beauty, beguiled.
The eyes were so close, and were hooded and dark,
The cheeks were both sallow and thin,
'A little more rouge - there we are! Is your aunt
The most beautiful creature you've seen?'
The boy nodded then, as he knew he must do
If he wouldn't be beaten and sore,
The lash of her cane had left scars in his brain
And he just couldn't take any more.
His mother had died when her sister denied her
A telephone call in the night,
She'd wanted to call out an ambulance then,
But her sister said: 'You'll be all right!'
She died the next morning, and Madelaine Mann
Had dug a large hole by the tree,
She buried her sister there, in the moonlight,
Leaving Andrew, who wasn't quite three.
They lived in the country, so nobody knew
What went on in that foul looking den,
And Andrew became little Andrea soon,
Because Madelaine Mann hated men.
He grew up confused as he followed her rules
But he always knew something was wrong,
He pulled all the heads off the dolls as he played
And his voice couldn't carry a song.
She'd beat him whenever his needlework strayed
Showing great ugly stitches and knots,
But his mind wandered out where the mud puddles lay,
And that patch of forget-me-nots.
Those precious blue flowers grew under the tree
Where her sister lay, cold in the ground,
She'd smile as she passed them, her own little joke
As she turned the son's gender around;
But Andrew, he sat and he picked at the flowers
And he sat there for hours at a time,
He'd sit in a trance, then he'd dance a small dance
As if Mummy was there in his mind.
She dressed him in dresses, and tied up his hair
But still made him work for his keep,
He swilled out the pigs and he managed the bees,
And he grew until he was thirteen;
She schooled him at home so that nobody knew
That the girl on the farm was a 'he',
For Madelaine saw off the strangers that came
With a sign: "Private Property!'
She beat him whenever he stepped out of line
And he didn't dare answer her back,
He scowled and he muttered when she wasn't there,
And his thoughts were dark, merging on black.
He talked to the pigs as his moodiness grew
To the sow that he called 'Mother Sly',
And saw how voracious their appetites grew
As he poured the swill into the sty.
One morning she woke, and she called for him then,
When she couldn't get out of her bed,
'You must call an ambulance, Andrea dear,
I have something gone wrong in my head.'
He stood in the doorway, and shuffled, and smiled,
Then he grinned and he took off his dress;
A pair of old overalls hung in the hall,
And he put them on over his vest.
'Don't be silly, my girl! Don't defy me, or think
This will change anything in our lives!
You will work on the farm 'til I'm well, and I'm home...'
He just laughed, and went out to the hives.
He cut off the cord to the telephone,
And he left off from feeding the swine,
While Madelaine Mann lay remembering then
All the beatings, as fear took her mind.
'The ambulance, Andrea; Andrea please!'
She had shouted in vain all day long,
But Andrew himself was nowhere to be seen,
He was out somewhere else, all alone.
On the following morning he wheeled in the chair
That his mother had used, from the barn,
'We're taking a walk, dear,' Andrea said,
'I'm just going to show you our farm.'
He put on a suit with a hood and long gloves
And he wheeled her then, out to the tree,
The area was full of forget-me-nots,
All in bloom, and a picture to see,
But there by the tree there were three wooden hives
And the bees were there, buzzing the flowers,
He lifted each lid, then he turned and he said:
'It's so nice here; I'll give you two hours.'
She screamed and she struggled to get off the chair
But the stroke had disabled her mind,
Her eyes bulged in fear as the first stung her ear,
Within minutes, the woman was blind.
They crawled on her arms, on her legs and her face
And they stung and they stung to a plan,
To get the intruder to leave them alone,
But she couldn't... not Madelaine Mann!
When Andrew returned with the smoker, she sat
And she groaned - he was somewhat disturbed:
'I thought you'd be finished, you nasty old witch!
Well, we'll finish this soon, mark my words.'
He trundled her groaning along the dirt path
And he tipped her right into the sty;
The last thing she heard were the grunts of the young
And the munching of old 'Mother Sly.'
David Lewis Paget
© 2012 David Lewis Paget
Shelved in 2 LibrariesAdded on August 26, 2008
Last Updated on June 27, 2012
David Lewis Paget
Moonta, South Australia, Australia
AboutAll my books are now available, as ebooks or paperbacks from Lulu.com - address below. more..
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