Almost daily diary!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Torn in two

It is late Saturday night, I am not in my own bed.
I am woken by the sound of a crying child.
It is not normal crying, it is a sobbing, wrenching cry.
It is calling "Mummy, mummy".
I am mummy, but it is not my child.

It is sobbing and gasping,
I try to listen for words to reassure,
him or me I am not sure.
At one and the same time I want to hear and I do not.

I want to hear that he is being cared for.
I want to hear that he is not suffering.
I want to hear that he is not being abused.
But I do not want to hear.
I hold my breath, I cannot hear the words.

He is calling mummy, so many of us answer to that name.
I want to hold out my arms to him, beckon him in, comfort him.
All of you would.
And I think of my own beautiful boy, sound asleep in another home, peacefully asleep with his Granny on guard.
How I need to hug him now.

There is a boy next door, for whom sleep is impossible.
There is a boy next door who needs to feel loved.
There is a mother next door who does not reply, for a very long time.
Her words are harsh.
"Shut the f**k up" she shouts as he continues to sob.

How could she?


Furtheron said...


Be grateful that you are that side of the wall though

Elizabeth said...

This sad post made me think of a poem
by Robery Hayden
Hope you have time to read it.

The Whipping

The old woman across the way
is whipping the boy again
and shouting to the neighborhood
her goodness and his wrongs.

Wildly he crashes through elephant ears,
pleads in dusty zinnias,
while she in spite of crippling fat
pursues and corners him.

She strikes and strikes the shrilly circling
boy till the stick breaks
in her hand. His tears are rainy weather
to woundlike memories:

My head gripped in bony vise
of knees, the writhing struggle
to wrench free, the blows, the fear
worse than blows that hateful

Words could bring, the face that I
no longer knew or loved . . .
Well, it is over now, it is over,
and the boy sobs in his room,

And the woman leans muttering against
a tree, exhausted, purged--
avenged in part for lifelong hidings
she has had to bear.

Robert Hayden

Gloria said...

Heart-wrenching and I guess it happens more than we like to acknowledge.

Have a great week:)

Reasons said...

Oh so sad. Reading your previous post though re. the guilt - perhaps you reaslise what a good mum YOU are?!

Maggie May said...

Yes....... you are a very caring Mum!

That is awful to hear that little boy and the parent's response. Too much of that and it would be understandable to get a second opinion about it.
Nuts in May

Chic Mama said...

How terrible. Poor poor boy. Now thats something to feel guilty for!! Why on earth do people have children to treat them like that? :0(

BS5 Blogger said...


Steve said...

That's made me go cold. The slightest wail from my little boy and I feel racked with guilt and an urgent need to give him comfort. How can anyone ignore a crying child?

Rose said...

Oh, my, this just breaks my heart. I was going to say exactly what Reasons said...this is a reminder what a good Mom you are. You may not have been with them on this evening, but you know they were safe and sound, cared by someone else who loves them, too.

The poem by Hayden that Elizabeth included here is one that I sometimes used in class; it never fails to move me.

Expat mum said...

I'm far from perfect but I just cannot imagine speaking to a child like that, and ignoring tears!

Akelamalu said...

Oh my that just tore a huge hole in my heart. :(

Is it something that needs reporting do you think? If you have the slightest doubt you know the right thing to do. x

Insomniac Mummy said...

Poor little fella.


the eternal worrier said...

That sounds horrible... :(

Linda - Gold Coast said...

Heartbreaking, poor little mite. So many children don't stand a chance with the hand that they have been dealt. Everyone wants to feel loved, especially a child. I just hope and pray it's not a regular occurrence but very sadly it most probably is.

Lakeland Jo said...

distressing and miserable.

Carol said...

That brought tears to my eyes!! Some people should not have children....

Poor wee soul doesn't stand much of a chance does he *sigh*

C x

Letty - A Little Girl With A Curl said...

This must have been very distressing for you, as it would have been for me too, and most other people.

I cannot bear to think of children or animals being hurt, mistreated or just verbally abused, especially when they are in need of comfort.

I don't know what else to say, except it would have unnerved me too.

I read this quickly last evening, then went downstairs to watch Life on BBC 1 with Richard Attenborough.

Was even more upset to find most of the programme devoted to watching horrible large lizards of some kind, hunting down and gradually killing a water buffalo.

While the cameras kept turning.

It is a cruel world, truly.

Letty x

Liz said...

The bitch! How can a mother do that?

French Fancy said...

Oh dear, I bet you had to hold yourself back from marching next door