A poem (or cautionary tale) for parents engaged in high-conflict divorce.
Now our marriage is spiralling,
Spinning beyond our control
And we have wounded each other
Love-lost, vow-broken, ring-thrown.
First we used silence as weapons
Then we used words and then fists
The arms race was swift and impressive
Our hands are now empty: they twist
In the dust.
We have thrown
Everything away but our anger
And still we have to keep fighting.
But there’s something we can do together:
Let’s use the children as weapons,
Let’s use the children as bait,
Let’s keep each other’s memory
Hated and naked and shamed.
Let’s use the children as infantry,
Let’s use the children as spies,
Let’s bring them up with the Director’s cut
With spin and with spite and with lies.
Let’s use the children as weapons
Let’s use the children as snares
We’ll have plenty more years of reprisals
If we make our unhappiness theirs.
© Claire Kirwan