My Mother

by Frieda Hughes

They are killing her again.

She said she did it

One year in every ten,

But they do it annually or weekly,

Some even do it daily.

Carrying her death around in their heads

And practising it. She saves them

The trouble of their own;

They can die through her

Without ever making

The decision. My mother

Is up-dug for repeat performances.

Now they want to make a film

For anyone lacking the ability

To imagine the body, head in oven,

Orphaning children. Then

It can be rewound

So they can watch her die

Right from the beginning again.

The peanut eaters, entertained

At my mother’s death, will go home,

Each carrying their memory of her,

Lifeless — a souvenir.

Maybe they’ll buy the video.

Watching someone on TV

Means all they have to do

Is press ‘pause

If they want to boil a kettle,

While my mother holds her breath on screen

To finish dying after tea.

Published by Robin

I'm a retired journalist who still has stories to tell. This seems to be a good place to tell them.

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