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I Googled her. The name’s different. Specific. Easy to find.

A red top tale told of misadventure. Miss-Thing in leopard skin.

Dark kohl smeared under eyes that look like mine.

Hunted - paparazzi catch a glimpse of her.

I see her for the first time.


I don’t know if she wanted me. Was she forced to leave?

It’s what they did then. Bundled into mother & baby homes, unseen.

Hidden, hiding, away from prying eyes. Alone.

Frightened children carrying frightened children.


She’s a photograph, words in a newspaper, 2D.

A face on social media, smiling at me.

Not a mother.

She has two daughters, divorced from their father.

Divorced from my father? Three daughters.

All of us, daughters.


I am the first.

Does neither of us want the other? A scandal then and after.

Is she impulsive?

Caught out, acting not thinking. Too young to be a mother,

first time, second and third.

A youth corrupted by birth.

With her dark kohl smeared under eyes that look like mine.

Jane Langan has poems published in the anthology Footprints and Echoes, Blood Kisses and Makarelle Anthology One. She is co-editor of the online literary and creative arts magazine Makarelle. Jane is currently editing her second novel. She has an MA in Creative Writing.

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