I’m participating with The Red Dress Club again today. The instructions were as follows:
This week we’re going to switch gears and write a little poetry. Writing poetry helps us work on cadence and rhythm which can make for better fiction. So by flexing our poetry muscles, we can in turn create more fluid fictional pieces. Please write a narrative poem that focuses on the workings of a family, whether it be your own or one that you’ve created from scratch. Good luck!
**I am not a poet. I wrote this when I was in high school and this is the second time it has appeared on my blog.**
We stared blankly in a dumbfounded silence
Not daring to even steal glances at one another
The five of us sat tense, unmoving
As rivers of emotion threatened to escape
From behind our downcast eyes.
My mom, my two brothers and I listened
As my father told us a story about how it felt to hide,
Crouched behind a wall of fear for forty years
He said it was time to face the truth,
Time to reveal the secret that had been silent
Within him for so long.
But it had always been lurking there,
Stirring underneath his skin.
It had crept up on him quietly, slowly,
Like a fever.
Until finally, on this day, the fever broke
And relief swam over my father as he confessed
In a shaky voice, “I’m leaving you all because I am gay.”
It’s too bad his relief wasn’t contagious—
He seemed to think it should have been
I just fell apart
We all fell apart
A jigsaw puzzle dismantled
The pieces scattered everywhere
So we’re trying to fit them together again
But it’s hard to make a new puzzle
When we liked the old one so much better.
How could he create a family knowing all that he did?
His family was his garden–he watered it, tended it, nurtured it.
But he wondered why, if the flowers thrived so,
Did he still feel an unbearable emptiness inside?
After all, he did have a loving family,
Even if it wasn’t the kind of family he desperately wanted.
He thought we, his fictitious family, could hide him,
Even from himself.
He was wrong.