In Your Shoes

by Dorothy Pope

In your shoes, I’d have wondered what I’m like,
as woman now, and how I was at school.
Did you not ever ask yourself, awake
at night perhaps, if I was beautiful
or clever, happy, mother now to boys
who looked like you, as handsome, tall and blond,
or if, for want of funds and fathering, all joys
had come to nothing, not survived beyond
the day you left us, broke? It was deprived,
of course, but you gave me a legacy
I prize. You left me hypersensitised
to cruelty and worth – rare gift. I see
right through facades. Not spared a second thought,
I’m fine – though I’m the daughter you forgot.