Dysfunction – Poem by Selasie Bulmuo

Function! Function!

If you can’t do function

Then you are out

‘Cos that is what life is all about

This game has rules

If you can’t comply

Dysfunction, not Function is what you get

The little girl screams,

It is dad again

Mum’s on the floor

He looks so mad

Bam! Bam!! With big kicks too

More slaps he gives

Dysfunction, Dysfunction,

The game’s gone bad

I am only little but they are mine

Dad and mum please think of me

Life can’t be played the way you do

I am in the middle and I am lost

Dysfunction,  Dysfunction

The game’s gone bad

Mum staggers up

Cos he’s gone now

She can’t see me

But I’m right there

My tummy growls,

‘I am hungry mum’

I think I am invisible, do they really care?

She gets her bottle

She always does

She gulps it all down

As if to hide inside

Now she is drunk and I don’t exist

Dysfunction, Dysfunction

The game’s gone bad

It’s morning again and she can’t wake up

I look in the basket

Pick out my dirty clothes

No breakfast, no kiss

Cos she’s still passed out

Lying on the floor

Within her filth

I go to school all by myself

I stink , I know, and I have no friends

‘Not again’ the teacher said

‘I’ll call someone, they’ll help you child’

Dysfunction, Dysfunction

The game’s gone bad.

I don’t know why

I have to live,

With this woman when I have a mum

I love her so, my dearest mum

But home has become a disaster zone

I know dad is gone

But he’ll be back

He always does ‘cos mum  lets him.

Dysfunction, Dysfunction,

The game’s gone bad.

I miss my mum

She’s not that bad

Please take me home

I promise I will be good

I’ll be invisible, I won’t get hurt

I love my mum and my dad too

These strangers, they are good to me

But it doesn’t feel like home, where I am now

Tears and sadness, cos I know

This is not how it’s meant to be

Dysfunction, Dysfunction,

The game’s gone bad.

 I am still here.

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