She Loved Him, She Loved Them Not
She did not love those he loved,
but she loved the little person their love created.
She would have loved those that created him,
had they lived long enough to witness
the vow that cemented their love,
though her SILS and BIL,
with whom she’d never fit in,
were a disappointment.
And yet, it was so easy to forgive them
for not being the married-into family she’d hoped for–
so long as they kept their distance.
If only they would respect her right to be left alone,
for it was one of the most sacred rights
When they did their DNA,
Dad traded in his wooden shoes
for a Viking helmet,
but Mom could not trade in
her Black Irish hair
for the auburn that could have been hers
if she’d been born sooner.
His siblings and cousins had been close
when they were children,
but when the patriarch,
who said family was everything,
it proved that he was the everything
that had held the family together.
Dad wore many uniforms,
Mom wore many hats,
but as for me & my brother,
we wore many masks.
When the Irish Catholic met the Roman Catholic,
they had Irish potato gnocchi
& spaghetti with soda bread.
They made it work because,
like many others,
they were all trying to get to the same place—
a gastronomical heaven.
She’d been an idealist before she’d married,
seeing a life of in-laws that were like blood &
double dating with mutual friends,
but when the honeymoon rose again,
his love was all that shone.
Years ago, I created a caricature book of all the members of my family, and that’s what prompted (no pun intended) this poem.
The Anatomy of a Family
Dad is the bread vendor who can’t quite make the bacon;
Mom burns the bacon and the bread.
Brother plays video games in bed;
Sister prefers to be well-read.
Grandma comes over with casserole and all is well;
Grandpa Lee always has an inappropriate story to tell.
Aunt Ida Claire (born in Jaw-juh) starts cleaning house,
Uncle Beau helps his way out of the doghouse.
Cousin Danny Boy cuts it up,
and Tippi the cat chases Fido the pup.