Last chat with mum; aged 24 (me, aged 24)

Last chat with mum; aged 24 (me, aged 24)

By jfarrell


“now he’s dead, I gotta ask….

“was he my dad? Truly???”

…. “yes”


This is my mum responding….

Her and the ‘truth’….

If she told me water’s wet and leafs are green…

I’d have to check….

….my mum truly believed her lies…



She didn’t get kicked out of the milkman’s house…

1 am in the morning

And walked home naked with her 7 year old daughter screaming at her

What a w……. she was…


My ‘dad’ was flirting with the barmaid again…


I was there; I know what happened…



She really, truly believes her lies.


“was he my dad?”




Deep breath…

Disappointment, anger, relief?

Who knows?


What I asked next was really, REALLY stupid!

A very bad idea…


How could I know?


“Ok… ish… he’s my dad…”


Long silence, couple of minutes?… less?… more?…


“what happened back ‘then’? when I was 5? 6?

When uncle brian raped me?


….. we haven’t spoken in nearly 10 years… what you all did hurt….

What happened?”


“your dad told me you’d raped your cousin”


“i was 5…?… 6…?….

…. I wasn’t even physically capable…. 5…6…”



“that’s what your dad told me.”


A couple of deep breaths, from me…

Several seconds…. a minute or two…

Felt like f…. centuries….


….”and I believed him.”


NOT an added aside, an intentional thrust with a stiletto…

Not an attempt to move in for the kill…

On an already injured, badly bleeding target…


She was just being honest.




“nan, uncle peter…. di…..”

“well of course I told them about it!”


At least I had the sense to shut up then and not ask if that’s..

What she told her friends…




Haven’t seen or spoken or had anything to do with my ‘mum’

Since that day…

Over 25 years ago…

I will be 50 in a couple of weeks…

My anger, bitterness, hurt….

…..that little mother to son chat….

Is killing me

Poisoning me, like a virus …..

That hate, anger….

Wanting to hurt back…



Maybe my mum had mental health problems….

I don’t know….


To so totally, absolutely believe… agree…

At 5… 6… years old…

“your son raped his cousin”….


I don’t totally believe that’s the WHOLE truth…

I will happily call my scumbag ‘dad’ a lot of names…

But.. ‘Liar’ isn’t one that would be honest….



…”and I believed him.”….


I don’t know….

Have spent all my pointless life trying to imagine….


That was so bad…


At the age of 5 or 6….

… my mum hated me SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much,

“and I believed him.”



Maybe she’s right ;-)

After all,

Who knows a man better than his mother?


I wish I could forgive and forget…

I wish I could be a son….

I wish I had a mother….



I so wish I wasn’t me…


These are the hands we are dealt.




I fear my bitterness, anger….

Absolute f…… rage…

…after I die….

My hate will continue.


Other than my mum, who can rot in hell…












Author's Notes/Comments: 

20 years of therapy, 40+ years of pain and bitterness..

poetry is a salve, a poultice, i could never have imagined....

In loco parentis

In loco parentis

By jfarrell


The October, before my CSE’s…

My ‘parents’ went on strike;

My children’s home was closed, overnight….

Very violently.


I cut my ties with my family, that night; forever;

And my coursework, homework projects and text books

I didn’t realise the ashes floating past me was my future;

I didn’t even know a fire had been started.


Who’d worry bout all the ‘A’ grades they were expected to get;

Who’d say goodbye, forever, to mum, dad, and younger sister?

Who’d be so arrogant? So stupid?

A 15 year old kid, scared of growing up to be his dad?


I have always been my ‘in loco parentis’;

You see a nearly 50 year old man;

I am 6 years old, trying to talk my dad outta beating me

Learning that the ‘very free sweets, toys and comics’ have a price;



My parents were not fit enough!

And the children’s home…. I need parents… politics? Strike?

In this world, this life, that has never made any sense….

How have I done? As a parent?


I think, I’d have had me locked up, long ago.


Not fit, to be near children….

Or anyone.





Author's Notes/Comments: 

i wasn't much of a brother when our children's home closed... or long before then..

my staying away from her and her family now, makes me the best brother ever...

but, it doesn't make it right

and nothing ever will...


this is poetry, not psychotherapy, or drunks are us....

i reeeeeeeeaaaaaallllllly love you... go on, give us a kiss....




Lost my temper

Lost my temper

By jfarrell


I was 12 last time I lost my temper; I’m 49 now;

My friend, Andrew, in the children’s home,

Told me, he’s being discharged; I’d never see him again;

I attacked, and beat the crap outta another kid, in the home.


At 15, my children’s home was closed down violently;

My sister and I were separated; not that we were close before;

I saw the cycle - how my dad comes home drunk, beats up everyone;

I saw my being bullied at school; I’d come home bully her.


12 to 49 is a long way with no friends; and family I’m scared to go near;

Online friends is the closest I can get to friends? Or, cats?

What a sad, so very sad loser I must be!!!!!

Pathetic waste of space!


Wallowing, consumed, drowning in my bubble;

I have hurt people along the way, not bad, not violent;

And I never meant to; I always tried to do right;

37 years later, I still haven’t lost my temper.


But, maybe if I had taken that risk, that chance,

I wouldn’t be alone, and so permanently alone as I feel;

I haven’t lost my temper in 37 years, should I feel proud of that?

Or should I revel in the solitude? Always alone…


Having no-one,

i can hurt no-one.

Bad, anyway





Author's Notes/Comments: 

if this is another step forward in recovery, i must be a black-belt ju-jitsu, capacle of somersaulting through the air while shooting 2 machine guns, keanu reeves, matrix style - just not dressed so good - or.... am i still just a alcoholic?

ooooh, ooooh, bottle of beer needs opening :-) be right back :-)

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A dream last night

A dream last night

By jfarrell




I dreamt, last night, that my mum had died;

I wonder if it’s prophetic,

The way some dreams are;

And I should be ashamed I feel no sadness, no loss.


I got taken into care when I was 11;

(“ and you probably deserved it; only thugs, feral children

And criminals end up in care; you probably deserved it”);

Is the unspoken accusation I hear, all my life.


My ‘loving, responsible’ mother

Poured a bottle of vodka down my 8 year old sister’s throat;

Then dumped her, unconscious, on the outside stairs,

When she collapsed.


I bet, when my nan and uncle were told about us going into care

There was no mention of alcohol;

I was always the scapegoat;

I was always to blame, every bad was my fault.


Hearing that my dad had died, did not release me from the pain;

I doubt my mum’s death will either;

And, 25 years from now I will still be cursing her;

As I do my father, 25 years dead now.


Author's Notes/Comments: 

i've had many dreams, i'd describe as prophetic, ie in a sense they came true  - but i've never dreamed about my mother dying, though i've fantasized about it, often - does that make me an evil and wicked person, or just the same as everyone else alive?

My brother’s Soccer Net


My brother’s Soccer Net


               It was a cold and joyful Christmas morning. One of those in which my younger brother and me raced down the stairs to see what Santa Claus had brought to us. My brother’s gift was a little envelope, as he read it he began to sprint towards the backyard, there was his present, two real size soccer goals. Huge white posts with a brand new tight net, that made the ball bounce immediately back to your feet. This was what he wanted since he was little. After that day, there is no other object that can describe him better. Every single afternoon, walking through my backyard after practice, I could see him taking shots. I summer days, rainy days, and even in early mornings he was there shooting. No matter the distance scored always great goals from many different places. Those nets really made him happy. He constantly changed the net for a new one of tightened the old one. He was always asking my mom to get them painted as he didn’t want them to loose their bright, winter, white color. Years after, my brother went to boarding school away from home. I was weird getting home and seeing no one taking shots. I every went outside and used them for a bit, as I felt bad they were so useless. These goals were a constant reminder of my brother not being home. As time passed, the goals began to rust and the net  started breaking apart. No maintenance was given to them. The goals, had a very strong feeling for me as they represented my brother. It was hard to think of my brother being away from home and then looking at the rusty, old nets abandoned in the backyard. My brother came back from boarding school, talking about how much he liked rowing and saying he did like soccer any more. All of a sudden, I realized I had more feelings towards those goals than my brother did. The abandoned, rusty goals had more importance for me this time. After hearing that, my mother was more than happy to send the goals away. Days after, as I saw the goals being carried away from my backyard, I felt as if I had lost something, a part of my childhood, a memory. I felt as if my brother had grown older than me for a moment.



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My grandpa's hotcakes





I remember how my childhood summer vacations’ were dazzling and adventurous. My grandparents owned an apartment in San Diego California, it was very near the beach, it wasn't very big but had everything a person would need in order to live there. My grandparents liked to take all the grandchildren there. My grandpa would make every morning special with his hand-crafted pancakes. He woke up every morning, and go to the local store to buy pancake mix, butter, and milk. He had different recipes to satisfy each children preference. Whether Alberto wanted traditional buttermilk pancakes, whether Camila wanted with blueberries, whether Carolina wanted with colorful sprinkles my grandpa was always ready to make his delicious breakfast recipe and have his grandkids happy. My personal favorite was chocolate chip pancakes. This kind of pancake was thick, brownish, soft and warm with a touch of unique sponginess. My grandpa is a serious businessman, but when he cooked pancakes he transformed into the nicest human being, it seemed his heart melted like butter. He spent every morning in the summer, his vacation time, to make the mix, batter the ingredients, and the special touch, all of these to create the magical pancakes. My cousin Carolina woke up to watch my grandpa from the distance of our room. She invited me to watch and be mesmerized by the beauty of the transformation of the mix. To us, cooking was an adult activity that seemed difficult and dangerous, but still, we wanted to do in the future. We watched how he managed the ingredients, how he knew the exact amount of milk to pour into the blue bowl without looking to a recipe. I remember how quickly and precise his movements were, how my grandpa coordinated his hands in order to mix up everything together without leaving any kind of a mess, he seemed like a flawless human being. I personally, was impressed by how easily he could flip the pancakes, he made it seem pancakes flew and landed on the perfect side. His procedure was harmonic, everything seemed to have a perfect timing in order to have the greatest taste ever. In order to have a great day, he said, you must have a great breakfast. I can easily reassure you he is an expert in making that possible, without any doubt he left the greatest breakfast memories imprinted in all the Covarrubias’ cousins. 

Daniela Covarrubias



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That Old Beige Yankees Cap

That Old Beige Yankees Cap, not very sure when it was supposed to be on top of my grandpa’s head, sometimes at the park, sometimes at the backyard, sometimes just going for groceries, but it never disappointed when we went to my grandpa’s ranch. This cap isn’t new or from a nice brand, it doesn’t have a crazy design; matter of fact I don’t even know where it came from, but one thing was certain about it: it always put my grandpa in a good mood, as if it was his lucky charm. We used to go to my grandpa’s ranch several times a year, there I had my first outdoor adventure, my first starry night, the first time I rode a horse, the first time I tasted beer, when I was scared of the wary “invisible” monsters of the night, or when I felt the strongest kid alive by lifting some (not so big) logs for the fireplace; jumping from joy or shaking in fear, one thing was certain for me in that ranch: that old beige Yankees cap man would be by my side. Despite of the obvious baseball passion my grandpa had, I never quite understood the reason of his New York Yankees fanaticism, however he always swore on them; I think that is the reason why he used that old beige Yankees cap as if it was the only cap he had, which I know it wasn’t the case because I myself gave my grandpa more than 10 caps so that he could give his outfit a little update. He never wore any of those caps, or any cap for that matter, other than his beloved one. I never had the chance to ask my grandpa: where did you got that cap? How old is it? Why is it so special to you? Why do you always wear it? It doesn’t matter; what matters is that my grandpa loved it. Every time I picture my grandpa that cap is on his head (with that funny slight tilt he always wore it with) as if it had glued onto him forever. After grandpa passed away, and his possessions were divided among family members, I could’ve chosen his fishing rod, his knife collection or even his fine watch; I don’t know why, if I hate baseball, if I was fed up with it, but of course: I chose that old beige Yankees cap.

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What are scars?

What are scars?

By jfarrell



They the damage your body couldn’t repair;

The ever-regenerating, ever-replicating cell factory;

Nope, that’s too much to repair, perfectly;

So, we’ll stick on a patch.


Scars from yesterday, a year ago;

A lifetime ago;

But, some are so damaged, ruined;

They cannot be repaired; fixed;

Put right.


A too severe beating, for… being at school?

A cruel comment, because I smiled;

And you couldn’t bear it;

A word, a sword,

Because I tried so hard to please you.


A lifetime later, so many scars are still raw;

I don’t rub salt in, but it gets in anyway;

I try not to think about them;

But they play before my eyes,

Over everything I see.


With a building,

If it’s damaged too much,

Knock it down and rebuild;

I don’t know if I can be rebuilt;

I don’t know how to knock me down.


Author's Notes/Comments: 

i get knocked down, but i get up again, you're never gonna keep me down - tubthumping

Job Prospects

Job Prospects

By jfarrell


I helped a milkman on his milk-round;

My first job; I must have been about 8;

The milkman, my mum and dad,

Sat in the pub, one night;

Discussing my job prospects.


Dad went home his usual time;

Work in the morning;

“I think your son’s got a great future as a milkman;

Wanna come back to my place and talk about it?”

Well, why not?


An hour later finds me walking home ‘alone’;

Alone means….

Ten yards behind me my younger sister is screaming at mum;

Who is naked.

Because that’s how we got thrown out of the milkman’s house.


The beep-beep “lovely tits” from caveman motorists;

The lights in windows going on;

And faces pressed to the glass;

And the only prayer I can plead

Is “don’t see me, don’t see me”.


Along the main road;

Past the pub we’d left;

Past our school;

Onto our estate;

My sister screaming names I don’t need to mention.


My going to school next day was like a Clint Eastwood western;

Joyful sounds, giggling, kids playing;

I walk into the playground and….

Silence - blessed silence - for all of ten seconds;

Then chants and jeers.


I got bullied a lot at school, still can’t work out why.


Author's Notes/Comments: 

cognitive behavioural therapy says how i feel about this is, is my choice - forgive me, but i strongly disagree

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