Not the ‘f’ Word

I never heard her say the ‘f’ word.

She had a few 4-letter words in her repertoire,

but she preferred extended descriptions:

‘stupid bugger’, ‘sodding hell’

and sometimes the short sharp shock:

‘Sod’ and ‘bum’ among her favourites.


Struggling to do the ordinary

through a mire of medication,

she never used the ‘f’ word.

Or the other four-letter word

we read in her furrowed face,

though never in her eyes;

waging war with daily agonies

and her constant