Stanza five

In the penultimate stanza, it is the rival who again becomes the focus.

The speaker uses euphemisms to describe her dominant position in the household - Lady of the house/Queen Bee.

These phrases create an aloof, stand-offish tone and establish this matriarch as a steely opponent.

The speaker acknowledges the threat her rival poses, describing her as far more unconscious/far more dangerous.

The repetition reinforces the importance of not underestimating the influence she exerts over her son and the danger this could pose to the speaker's relationship with him.

The use of the word 'unconscious' hints at the underhand, devious means the mother may use to win back her child. The speaker realises that she may lack the experience to counter such an attack.

This stanza ends in a humorous, wry, almost throwaway aside to the reader/listener - Listen, I was always my own worst enemy. She has taken even this from me.

In these lines there is almost a sense of resigned acceptance and acquiescence as the speaker realises that she is no match for this woman.