My Mother Always Warned Me

My mother always warned me about the fire,

Hannah sat writing her poem by the Dove Cottage firelight

The mouth of the dragon in the hearth,

The searing heat penetrating my skin,

The speckles reminding me of the back of the cheetah from the ark,

She did always warn me about the fire.

 

My mother always warned me about my teeth,

Making sure I used enough soot ‘n’ salt,

Enough water on my face,

The powder sticking to each pearly white like hard to utter words,

She did always warn me about my teeth.

 

My mother always warned me about being naughty,

“The Chastiser is waiting!” She’d whisper,

Making me stop what I was doing,

Like holding onto the pendulum of a ticking clock,

She did always warn me about being naughty.

 

 

One morning I forgot my mother’s warnings,

I played by the fire and toyed with its force,

I didn’t use the soot as she ordered for my teeth,

I wreaked havoc through the house in a possessed like state,

She threw me in the cupboard with the black mountain,

Scrambling to the top I took my seat.

As the cold seeped in I whimpered “mother never warned me about this.”

Hannah Hodgson