They were a female underclass
arrived at parenthood early
propelled by circumstances and adventure
clinging to maternity as if their only possession in life
a single, almost random, item snatched from a sinking ship.
She began with universal approval and goodwill
57 years old,a mother and grandmother
after three childless head of departments
it was good to have someone who understood they said.
Approval ratings soared when they learned she had experienced
the disrepair and decay of partnership
married from early 20’s for a decade
another decade of solo parenting
followed by a dozen years of redemption.
Children, she was so proud of her three
knew you weren’t supposed to have favourites
but her daughter had provided a grandchild
“wait for grandchildren
you’ll wish you could go have gone straight there.”
It could have been the blur of work pace
or as suspicion sometime speculated
the muddled inattention of medications.
Cataloguing contained frequent errors
information filed without proofreading.
Incorrect matches were spoken
sons mistaken for daughters
sports for hobbies
endearing idiosyncrasy for behavioural difficulty
significant events forgotten or mistaken.
Her inner circle made details permanent
by the same method children learn multiplication tables
Most succumbed to frustration
feeling undervalued and abandoned
renounced by the faith that joined them.
Goodwill died. It was the conception of failure.