Gestation, Gyration: a child’s turbulent entry into the world

Rosie R's latest poem is told through the voice of a child taken into care at birth because of parental substance misuse - and captures the last impact of this experience

typewriter with a note saying 'Gestation, gyration by Rosie R'

by Rosie R

Some of the children we work with have started out life on a very rocky path and their journeys can be shocking and very unsettling to hear.

This poem recounts a very turbulent trajectory of events that could have resulted in a different outcome to that described if not for a social work intervention.  The outcome was, fortunately, favourable for the young person, though the impact of such turbulence has had a lasting effect.

The screams they were real Pain from the drugs I could feel - When I arrived in this World unloved and preterm Adult voices around me, expressed shock and concern Mum was an addict, my dad a lost soul Becoming a parent was never their goal They carried on with their partying, my dad and my mummy, And before long, I was growing rapidly inside my mum’s tummy A few times mum was arrested during her gestation, When police picked her up from a drunken location She was running criss-crossing the road with no awareness of cars - Her behaviour was distressing, erratic and bizarre That’s when a referral was made for social workers to help mum With her issues, her housing, and me - her unborn son Though mum left again, with no word or address She almost delivered me alone … the whole time was a mess She tried to meet dealers, close to her hospital confinement Then the Section 20 was drawn up with precision and alignment The gyration was ending … it all settled down … And my Adoption went through, with no objection or sound I don’t know where dad went, he disappeared far away And mum told the Court, shes not sure if hes my dad anyway Now the clock is reset and my new family are here And the painful start to my life is now a lot less clear I have a life story book of that time, “all about me” Of my life when I was born, pictures to look at and see … my journey up to now, though I need help to understand as I grow As the drugs still make me struggle, and they make my brain slow.

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