She was a strange woman
Always wronged in some way
by everyone
In her own mind
at least
And I
always smiling
was surprised when she said
“I hope my kids don’t end up like you.”

At first it seemed quite normal
Slightly offensive perhaps
if I was the type to be offended
But reasonable

I thought she meant
because I was a dodgy little fucker
But then she said something else
She was saying something else
and although the words have left me
the meaning would be hard to forget.

I would have been about eighteen then
and she maybe forty
And she spoke of my weird sense of the past
And the future
A sort of underlying idea of impending doom
that is beyond explanation
She thought I knew too much
And likewise I her
Because it was true
And I had no idea how she possibly ever knew