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’.
Marc Brightside is a UK-based poet who discovered poetry under the tuition of Julian Stannard, his own work characterised by darkness interspersed with humour and introspection. He is affiliated with Poets Anonymous and Gobjaw, and can frequently be found performing in-and-around London. His debut collection, Keep it in the Family, was published in 2017, while he is currently seeking representation for his second manuscript, Personal Impersonal.