A Daughter is the Time of Truth
(with apologies to Aulus Gellius*)
You think that, when your daughter’s born, you’re getting Beth or Jo,
Matilda – Florence Nightingale – Grace Darling – I don’t know.
You think that you’re providing a happy childhood heaven
for Rapunzel, Cinderella – and you may be, till eleven...
then the hormones are recruited and start marching and deploying,
seize and occupy your sofa, which they fortify, destroying
your rest and peace and comfort; and you realize Medea
has invaded, with her colonels Clytemnestra, Boadicea.
Sarah Bernhardt’s in the kitchen and there’s drama in the sink;
Messalina’s on the doorstep, overcome by love (and drink),
and Jezabel is welded to the bathroom looking-glass
whilst Imelda’s in hysterics ’cos her wardrobe’s just too sparse.
You think that when your daughter’s born you’ve got a little pet; –
you’ve got a whole menagerie, and it’s not over yet:
you may be knocking on a hundred and hunkered in a hole,
but you know a daughter is for life, and you don’t get parole.
(* who insisted perversely that Truth is the Daughter of Time)