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The Mum Next Door

There is a mum next door

you’ve caught sight of at dawn

dragging the bins out at night

dragging the kids out in the morn

mostly you hear her

and the little terrors she bred

screaming, crying, cbeebies on incessantly

the Gruffalo exhaustedly read

and I can bet my tax credits

on the fact that she’s lonely and sad

and that 38 times today the toddler has driven her mad

she worries so much about what her neighbours must think

she avoids their eyes as she stands sobbing at the kitchen sink

Lord oh Lord, what next door must hear

will she get reported for the children’s noisy tears?

You’ve seen her offspring in the garden

wearing only their nappies

you’ve seen her shouting at them not to eat worms

and with her husband in the morning all snappy

you’ve seen her put out the washing

covered in baked beans, looking grim

you’ve seen her blowing up the paddling pool

and sipping what looked like Tonic and Gin

you’ve not spoken to her yet

you assume she’s not got time

but she’d snap off your leg

for a neighbourly glass of wine

a chat, a smile, a cup of tea

all she needs is a bit of adult company

she wants you to tell her the kids are alright

and that she’s doing fine

that you don’t mind hearing the fights

every night at bed time

that you were her once

though it’s so long ago you’ve forgotten

that you don’t know how she does it

spending days cleaning and wiping bottoms

that you don’t judge her one bit

that sometimes kids, well, they can be little gits

I know this mum next door

and how hard she tries to be

(but fails at being) the perfect mummy

because the mum next door

well the mum next door is me.

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