bard’s fantasy

He loves to tell the story

Of my conception
And birth

How he battled wildness of elements
A tempest
But knew he had to make it home
To bed his wife

Dripping on the door step
Did he demand sex
Or was she pleased to see him?

He glorifies the act
Leaving out the specifics
But describing the power
Of the connection
Between him and my mother
Says he felt me incarnate

I feel uncomfortable
At the telling
In public
It’s not the first time I have heard the story
It’s supposed to be special

Something to do with me
Always ends up about him


He continues

Nine months later
He tells of a marriage
On a dormant volcano

Pertinent for his and mum’s volatile relationship

he reveals how he knew he had to wed
As he felt I was a ‘proper little girl’
Not to be born out of wedlock

As if proving his theory
I arrive into the world that night

he romanticized the evening
Summer night
Peary Rd, Auckland
The waft of jasmine through the windows
I imagine white curtains billowing

I arrive quietly
The membrane intact
Covers my face

Two puffs of oxygen
From the midwife
Into my nostrils
breath little one
Dad says she said

Mum doesn’t feature in his story
Except as the vessel that harboured the babe

No mention of the labour
The visceral experience
Womb opening
Her experience
The effort she went through
Nothing to identify her
she goes unnamed
So he can shine

The story is tainted
All about him
Women are minor characters

According to his version
I exist for and because of him

He is special, via the telling
I am but a feature on the periphery
A childwoman
Something to make him feel good

he repeats the virtue of my quietness
how the morning after my birth
In a church
I quietly take in music
Played at someone else’s wedding

Accuracy is not a strong point
In a romance story
It’s about the tellers fantasy


Stories permeate my childhood
A way to skip over the
Cold hard unpleasant facts

What is told
Didn’t necessarily happen

I feel like an outsider
As he shares his tales
With anyone who’ll listen

I grow up
Overhear him boasting
Telling the same romantic tale
I have heard one hundred times before

his eyes meet mine
he doesn’t see me
Enthralled in his belief that I am his to be owned
he groomed me
To be another woman to do his bidding
A substitute wife and mother


I recognise the fantasy
I can choose to grieve and walk free
An escaped character
From my father’s tales

Eloisa 11 October 2022 at 3.56am