Mum said


I didn’t want to be a mother, Christ, I’m only seventeen.
Mum said that it was fate, I said, ‘well fate is fucking mean’.
I dropped out of school real early, I couldn’t take it any more,
Mum said ‘ignore the staring’, then I hear them whisper ‘whore’.
I didn’t to go to schoolies, and I missed out on prom night.
Mum said that I should go, but it wouldn’t have felt right.

I loved Sam and he knew it, I gave in one pissed night.
Mum said he was a user, and I know this time she’s right.
He didn’t have a condom, ‘don’t worry I’ll withdraw.’
Mum said I was an idiot, ‘I’ve heard that one before.’
She was sixteen when she had me, so she knows what it’s about,
Mum said that it was tough, when her parents kicked her out.

I texted Sam to tell him, I never heard a thing,
Mum said ‘well just forget it, we really don’t need him.’
I knew that she was right, but it kinda made me sad,
Mum is great and all, but I wish I’d known my dad.
I thought I’d die in childbirth, I’ve never felt such pain.
Mum said it would make me think, before I did that again.

They gave her to me after, all sticky, small and red,
Mum said she was my image, she had black hair on her head.
She grabbed onto my boob, started sucking straight away.
Mum said I was a natural, didn’t think I’d feel this way.
Her face is like her dad’s, her eyes are just divine,
Mum said she is a beauty, I can’t believe she’s mine.

I named my baby, Sally, ‘cos that’s my mothers name.
Mum says I have to understand that life won’t be the same.
I’m a mum now, I can feel it, and I hope that I can be,
As kind and good and lovely as my mum has been to me.


‘Mum said…’ is the poem that I read at Australian Poetry’s Pier Poetry event on the 8th May 2011. The event was be hosted by Anna Kerdjik Nicholson and featured poet and playwright Teresa Bell. My poem was selected from over 50 entered poems along with two other emerging poets, who were both fantastic:

Mandi Randell with Queen of the Backyard
Lara Taylor with Can I dance you a Dance?


This poem features in my book  ‘Gone Dotty’ .

Contact Kate Toon – Sydney writer

I’m a poet, writer, playwright (and in real life an SEO copywriter, SEO Consultant and Information Architect) call me in Sydney Australia on +61(0) 418 166 458 or email me.

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