Divorce

I did not promise
to stay with you till death do us part, or
anything like that,
so part I must, and quickly. There are things
I cannot suffer
any longer: Mother, you never, ever said
a kind word
or a thank-you for all the tedious chores I have done;
Father, your breath
smells like a camel's and gives me the hump;
all you ever say is:
‘Are you off in the cream puff, Lady Muck?'
In this day and age?
I would be better off in an orphanage.

I want a divorce.
There are parents in the world whose faces turn
up to the light
who speak in the soft murmur of rivers
and never shout.
There are parents who stroke their children's cheeks
in the dead of night
and sing in the colourful voices of rainbows,
red to blue.
These parents are not you. I never chose you.
You are rough and wild,
I don't want to be your child. All you do is shout
and that's not right.
I will file for divorce in the morning at first light.

by Jackie Kay

Comments (5)

Great stuff. Quite a new look at a new situation.
Amzang pom, veri goot red
It represents the legitimate rights of all children. They too deserve to be treated with love and dignity like grown ups. It is primarily the duty of parents to ensure that they get it. Thanks. I would be better off in an orphanage.... I want a divorce. There are parents who.... sing in the colourful voices of rainbows, I don't want to be your child. All you do is shout
If this is autobiographical I feel sad for the author, nobody deserves to be brought up by bad parents.
In this day and age! Divorce. This is also part of life. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.