Sisters in Arms

You didn’t choose life
You were pushed into it
Your parents didn’t choose you
Not the way you turned out,
Snarling, spitting, bitter, angry

Every step of the way
Your unwanted life
Confronted you with menus
Of options that were not yours
That others had chosen for you

Netball, not football
Cookery, not woodwork
Chastity or disgrace
Hairdresser or shop assistant
Domesticity and servitude

You railed against a world
That forced choices upon you
That were not yours
A life led that you had not wished for
False choice dressed as destiny

Flotsam swept back and forth on a stony beach
By careless tides
Uncaring waves
Thoughtless currents
Grit in a world that should have been your oyster

But constant abrasion produced an imperfect pearl
Acid wit, off-kilter humour
In-your-face attitude
Hard to ignore, difficult to hate
The strange attraction of the not-quite-beautiful

Until the tide washed up a real choice
That made everything different
You chose her, she chose you

Terry Wassall