By Elspeth Jean Anderson

My mother was born a rebel
as soon as she learned to talk,
it was no to this, no to that,
whatever grown-ups said,
stern words a red rag to a bull,
she attended many schools
in childhood never obeyed rules,
in holidays fought with three sisters,
and a younger brother too.
At twenty one, ran off to France
in Paris, took up with a young man
who was a native of Bordeaux,
after an idyllic summer in Cannes,
transpired he was promised to another,
humiliated, began the journey home,
travelled on a slow troop train to Calais.
A Declaration of War, recently avowed.

rebellious nature, summer love, revelation