The Patron Saint of Disappointing Children

Louise de Marillac

I am the child who will never be
a disappointment to my mum and dad.
I’ll sleep the night in my own bed,
a smell of milk on my crusted chin.
My terrible twos will be a doddle.
They won’t ever see a tantrum fit
or be called in by school reception.
Parents’ evenings will be pretty samey;
a joy to teach, works well in class.
I’ll never come in late or broken-hearted.
And when they lie together in the dark
and talk in muffled tones, I’ll know
he smoothes her eyelids with his thumb,
kisses her on the head and says
all credit for who I am goes to my mum.


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