Dedicated to our loving Mother. Based entirely on true events.
We were eight. And so our loving mother
Sat us down, to watch a horror film
Not fit for people twice our tender age.
It was, naturally,
Too much. My brother (a total state) sobbed
Silently, so as not to smother
The sound of violence, rage and tension which streaked
Steel-like again and again against the cheerleader’s
Mother told us to watch. She bullied us
Bloody heck just watch,
Even if we only peeked through our little hands:
To not look away, but to watch until
The bitter end.
We shook, and huddled shaking, until
The background blackened: at last, the credits, look,
As white text dragged itself up apologetically, a disclaimer,
That there was in fact an army of screenwriters,
Responsible for a number of minor edits;
A flotilla of make-up artists, some appointed
Solely for fake rip wounds; a coterie
Of extra cheerleaders, simply there
To make up the bloody numbers. There was a “Grip”
And a “Best Boy” and we howled, we howled
Laughing, because we didn’t know what that meant,
And we still do not know, now.
It was entirely sound and fury. The make-up ladies
Had made a painted devil for us. Mother let
Us stand upright, at last, teeter ever so slightly
And breathe again as she turned on the lamplight;
Only finally saying,
“It was painless after all, wasn’t it? No,
You’ve nothing to worry about from horror films.
But you should be worried about cars. You should
Be frightened of having your brains cracked open
Like eggs on the pavement. You should fear
People who mean you harm – believe me, they’re out there,
Not in a mask, not with a kitchen knife,
But with P45’s and a smile. Anyway. Night-night.”
We dared not ask. But with that bombshell
Still resounding, pounding in our ears,
Somehow, God only knows how,
We were sent to bed: the darkness
Emerging before our eyes after a while, the final ending
Blacking out; the white rolling thoughts
Of something sinister, further on in life,
One day soon, ascending.