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Here is my entry:
Her mother looked after her father, she cleaned, did the laundry, did the cooking, did the dishes all without any help. Hetty would rise early, rake out the embers from the bottom of the Rayburn*, relight the fire and get the water boiler ready for the day. She would knead the dough for the bread placing it in the bottom oven to prove before baking it later in the day to ensure that there was fresh bread to go with Fred’s dinner in the evening when he came in from work. Fred did the heavy work, digging the garden, fixing stuff in the house, he was quite the handyman. She’d relegate him to the shed at Christmas to pluck the turkey, or to gut and skin rabbits so that she could make rabbit pies and Christmas dinners. He drove her everywhere.
She knew where the lines were.
He knew where the lines were.
Her daughters should have known where the lines were.
Eileen wasn't going to be like all those other wives, nope, not her. Her husband would bow to her commands. He would show her respect, love and admiration. He would do his share in the house. She would not expect him to cook, nope. She would do all the cooking; she wouldn't trust his cooking anyway. He could do the dishes, put the hoover round when he wasn’t working. He should help her even when she told him there wasn't anything he could do.
Charles was a good earner, a man with prospects. She would have a good life. He provided all the nice things she wanted for the home and hearth. He would buy her nice jewellery but she would choose it herself, he had no taste, it was much better if he was shown what she wanted. Not like her engagement ring he sent to her in the post! OK, so what that she’d chosen it from the catalogue, ringed it, dog-eared the page and left in his uniform pocket as he boarded the train to London before he travelled on to join his ship at Portsmouth.
He should know what to do.
She knew what to do.
She taught him what to do.
Maggie wanted fun. Ray was her husband, useless as an earner, always had an eye out for a bargain but didn’t give her enough money to feed them and their three kids. Maggie worked part-time, field work, bar work, scrimped and made-do until one day, the fun had gone. Life was a drudge. She felt caged in until she escaped in to the arms of another.
He was the love of her life.
She was the love of his life.
They both found pastures new.
Now Eileen and Maggie’s daughters and sons lead different lives, some better, some still fighting for release. All the offspring have different views on life and partners, husbands and wives. Some tried the traditional route, felt trapped. Some tried the hippy life, still trapped. Some even tried same sex partners, caged in.
They were taught to be better.
They thought they had better.
Was it really better?
Who can tell?
What will their children do with their lives, how will they live with others?
Is everyone caged in some way or another?
Will a second, third or any chances come their way? Only time will tell.
Will we know all their secrets or are they caged in the hearts as well?
*similar to an Aga
A Victim No More
Too nice, she won’t mind
She’s always kind
Too laid back
What does she lack?
Manipulated by another
Abused by others
Too afraid to tell those who want to know
Hidden so deep
Too hard to keep
The tears come and the face dries
Nobody knows the pain inside
Kept inside the strong castle walls
What does she do when she falls?
She makes time for others
Listens to their troubles
Then it’s turned and doubled
In on her to spite her love
Nobody believes her when she says what she feels
Don’t be stupid they say
You are wrong they are right
So, she has another sleepless night
All she wants is to love and be loved
The tears flow when she is moved
Pushing out from the heart and caught
With no forethought
Tossed away like discarded paper
No use for the wrapper
Put the lid on it don’t let anybody see
The pain and love that is a divorcee
Deep, deep down
Unplumbed depths under the sea or space
A mind full of grace
Grinding out the race
Finding a way through the story
That she wrote before she was born
Making the mistakes, choosing free will
Living her life in a wonderland full of illusions
Trying to stop the agony, the pain, the hunger
Knowing she’s not getting any younger
Emerging through a rebirth of love
The second chance coming from above
She grabs it with both hands
And feels like she’s playing in a band
Joy and laughter, contentment and bliss
All sealed with her loving husband’s kiss.
She is a bird flying free
Landing on branches of every tree
No longer caged, restricted or barred
Her life is her own to share
With compassion and care
Kindness and respect, love and hope
Living a colourful life in a kaleidoscope
Of joy and release
No longer in a cage
It took her an age
Now she is free as a bird
Her voice is heard
Far and wide
Her tears have dried
Her heart is full
Word count: 929