written by: Marc Brightside
I was checking the obituaries to make sure
I hadn’t died, when I came across her name:
an unexpected overdose, third time’s the charm,
found rotting in her Menzieshill apartment.
Cousin Ceri was a butch old dyke, coddled
on the weekends, beaten when it mattered,
with a prison record longer than her lifespan.
She was a hospital stay waiting to happen.
“Dealers killed my daughter,” Gail slurred,
a sleeping bulldog dolled-up in her finest,
glittering and wistful for the local cameras.
“Ceri was wonderful. She was perfect.”
Shame your DIY abortion failed, Gail,
then you might not have abandoned her.
My cousin was a cocaine hurricane,
a firework lit sparking from both ends,
but someone had to hold the match.
I was prepared to let it go, until I scrolled
below her article. Eleven, three, fourteen.
Cousin Ceri died almost two years ago.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
This poem is taken from my debut collection, 'Keep it in the Family'.