Nursing

Pushed from the womb.

Into rat-infested squalor.
Where the lights didn’t burn,
and the water didn’t flow.

Into drug and domestic abuse.
Where father held fire under the spoon,
and mother wept through bruised eyes.

Into physical and emotional abuse.
Where beatings broke the skin,
and we suffered piss-taking daily.

Into sleeping rough and foster care.
Where nights ached with unrest,
and foster houses were never home.

Sometimes we are hurled towards the tit,

and the breast milk we swallow
is rotten.

But we need it.

It makes us
grow.