Blessed with beautiful blue eyes, Or perhaps cursed, for they brought Him to her, She was born in July, and died the next month. The life she led in the years between Was a full one, though too often Full of things she didn’t want, Like loneliness. Often penniless, With four bottomless bellies to fill Still she kept going, working For food for the family, Her brood, unwittingly ungrateful Urchins, unaware of the horrors Of the adult world, Of debt and obligation and duty and care. Finally, we saw it, it was there Before us, her story. What she had done For us Despite us With us Without Him Was remarkable. More remarkable still The way she hid it from us for so long, Did it all her self. Three jobs at once, I recall, Morning, evening, night, Just to keep us fed right In a grim little terrace On a grimy back street. He visited once to look around. “Christ, Rena,” He said, Which was nice. But she kept on, because she had no choice. She clothed us, raised us, Taught us many things But not everything. There are gaps in us all, we are not whole. Of course, it took it’s toll And her own inclinations caught up with her, Would one day kill her, But the wound that started it, The beginning of her end, Was the day that the last of us Left her house Forever.