The Secret Ingredient

The girl that cooks bakes cake and pies
And plays at house and tells no lies
That can’t be wriggled into line
Parading truth and saving time

The girl that cooks makes soup and stews
That chase away the taste of blues
Her kitchen hums with spitting fat
She works and cleans and strokes the cat

The girl that cooks whips up dessert
And bandages the parts that hurt
When all the world is making war
She’s tossing aubergines in flour

The girl that cooks is canny, chaste
Her sauces never go to waste
No eggs are dropped, no milk gets spilt
Her apron strings are edged with gilt

The girl that cooks with fiery flame
Whose every nuance tastes the same
Is ready with another dish
To feed you meaty, wholesome fish

The girl that cooks is clever too
She knows what suits won’t always do
When with a smirk upon your lips
You peck her brow and grip her hips

The girl that cooks in every room
Will not be left alone so soon
While every mouthful, reels you in
You’re caught within her roasting tin

The girl that cooks must take the blame
For ruining your filthy name
Enticing you with food so fair
You hung your hat and took a chair

Dish of the day

Piping hot, served on a big, silver platter
With pristine white linen in case it should splatter

Serving suggestion: try holding your nose
(It can be quite fragrant when fresh off the stove)

A gentle reminder – you may burn your tongue
On sauce with such condiments, thickened and mum

Though some find it bitter, you might like the taste
So try not to let what you’ve bought go to waste

It’s strange and exotic, the critics all say
But you ordered The Truth – it’s our dish of the day.

More to life

Our mother, who suffered
The pain, dressed in blood
Throughout ev’ry hour of our birth

And who clothed us, and fed
Going hungry instead
To ensure we would still tread the Earth

Who swallowed her fear through
Indignities, rife
Undergoing the terrible burn

What right have we now
To condemn to a life
Watching each of us suffer in turn

When we choose not to eat
Not to dream, work or sleep
Ev’ry action will cut to the quick

And no solace may be
Found in such mystery
As determining why we are sick

For it’s hardly the motive
That causes her pain
But the misery votive revisits again

So it’s down with the razorblades,
Needles and gin
We must seek out a path to be trod

In the knowledge there’s more
Than our own suffering
The unqualified shouldn’t play God

And we’ll pick ourselves up
Just a day at a time
As we manage what ills we create

Easing out of the rut
And back into our prime
Finding out why a life’s worth the wait

‘Til we’re set on a course
With less call for remorse
Fewer annual flowers to buy

To apologise for
Ev’ry injury’s force
No more ‘sorry’s’ for making her cry

Ev’ry child has to learn
Where they fit, each in turn
So we stand on our strength and our skill

For our mother to see
We are proud just to be
What fates Destiny gave us to fill

The argument

I watch the air grow dark with cloud
Until the tension is so loud
It finds its voice and spills to shout
As insults, accusations out.
Their barbs that stick into our ears
And mar our conscience, rot our fears
So we retaliate in kind;
Bile oozing forth from tongue and mind
And frothing loud as thundrous strike
To echo our profound dislike
For all you hid, and all you feel.
When spoken thus, a Catherine-wheel
Of torture grows with rack and screws
As we absorb your poisoned views,
And sickened, know the sad demise
Of love’s young dream, before our eyes.