Poor little fellow, just seven years old
Sent out alone in the dark and the cold
To crawl in the bunker and fetch in the coal
In the harsh winds of winter, that dreaded black hole.
A slap if too slow, and for crying, a punch –
There’s never a kind word, but always a lunch.
he’s always well-dressed and quite properly fed
So no-one suspects that his life’s full of dread.
So bright and so clever; but that never mattered
he must be a tough guy, or else he’ll be battered.
Dad says he’s useless and stupid, and his Mother’s a slut –
She gets punched in the body and kicked in the gut.
He makes sure to hit where the damage won’t show
He knows how to do it – He’s a boxer you know!
So few are aware of what really goes on
When the doors are all closed, and outsiders are gone.
his Mother’s so young; she works hard, don’t complain
The boy cries and cringes as He hits her again,
Insults and accuses her of things she’s not done;
She’s too tired to resist and too frightened to run.
his sister’s not beaten, but she sees what goes on
And she blocks it all out til the moment has gone,
Retreats to her room and lives in her own head;
For the rest of her life she’s emotionally dead.
And her poor little brother has to take all the blows;
Try to protect his poor Mother – and nobody knows.
But maybe his Grandma suspects what is done –
But she pretends not to notice – after all, He’s her son.
His Dad was the same and she blocked it out too;
She’d a baby to mind and so much work to do.
He had a weak heart and was young when he died.
A sad single Mother; yet she seldom cried.
She got on with living and worked night and day
To bring up her child in the very best way.
And when she re-married He felt pushed aside
Grabbed the first pretty girl and made her shotgun bride.
With a baby inside, the poor girl was afraid
And quite soon she knew the mistake she had made.
She had really adored him; her love true and whole –
He had taken her body, but wanted her soul.
He was insistent, cajoling; it wasn’t quite rape
Until she was trapped and she couldn’t escape:
Quite soon they were married – and that’s when He changed
From exciting and loving to foul-mouthed and deranged.
And when, battered and bowed she had threatened to leave
He sneered; said He’d find her: there was no reprieve.
He called her a bitch and a whore and a cow –
Said no-one would want her – she’s damaged goods now!
And so it went on; soon he wanted another.
The first was a girl, so this best be a brother!
She longed to say no – but now she was his wife
And He’d told her this meant that she owed Him her life.
When the boy came along she was just twenty-two
With an eighteen- month toddler, so what could she do?
He never would let her go out of His sight –
The beatings went on, and she wept every night.
He said He just wanted to harden the lad
But He just broke his spirit; it was wrong; it was sad.
Few Father/son moments the boy could recall,
Just put downs and punches, that really was all.
He was hard; He was selfish and must be number one
His wife was so frightened she too hit her son.
If the kids acted up it would be she who would rue it
So she slapped him to silence – before He beat her to it.
he left home, got married, had kids of his own.
he showed little affection – it was all he had known.
Had flashbacks – remembered his own broken nose
Tried blotting it out with yet more spite and blows.
And he gave them no quarter and he bullied his wife –
It was all he had known in his pitiful life!
his wife wouldn’t have it, and she made him see
How pleasant and loving a family could be.
he soon saw the error of his family’s ways
And vowed to be loving the rest of his days.
And he hid the bad thoughts of his Dad and his Mum
And he never became what his Dad had become.
A Grandad himself now, the memories broke through
His career was in tatters, he didn’t know what to do.
He’d wake up in terror and cry out in pain –
One day left for work and came straight back again.
A complete nervous breakdown. he was silent and ill
So the Doctor prescribed him a strong happy pill.
He slowly got better, but had to retire
Til the money ran out; they were back in the mire.
And his Father continued to threaten and curse
He got old and disabled; His temper grew worse.
His tongue just grew crueller as his fists were no use
His weapon of choice now emotional abuse.
The boy had turned sixty when his Father died;
Didn’t know how to feel: felt ashamed when he cried.
Such mixed up emotions – he didn’t want to feel glad
And yet now he felt free – but so terribly sad.
he was worn out with work, full of guilt and despair,
Redundancy looming; no hope anywhere.
Growing sicker and poorer and fed up with life
But he still had his family, his friends, and his wife.
They’ll get through it together, the boy and his brood
With seven Grandchildren to lighten the mood;
But even in moments of pleasure and joy
His wife knows he’s still that poor sad little boy.