Happiness Isn't All It's Cracked Up To Be
They fuck you up, your mum and dad
They may not mean to, but they do
(from This Be The Verse by Philip Larkin)
Oh why couldn’t I
have had a difficult childhood?
A mother who drank. A father
who locked himself away
in his study all day.
If I’d been blessed with parents
who never understood me
I could have spent my whole life trying
to impress them. It would, I’m sure,
have made me work harder
than I’ve ever had to.
And I’d have been a better writer, too.
There’d be a woe-is-me theme
running through my poetry
for which I’d be both criticised
Like a chip off the old block
I’d reside in my study,
clutching a bottle of booze,
staring at a laptop;
I’d emerge occasionally to unleash
my foul temper.
Such twisted joy!
I could be a solitary figure
stepping out from the shadows,
haranguing distant shores,
moaning at the sea.
Oh Mum and Dad, why
were you always so good to me?