Poem: Relatives



The pictures line the wall,
family portraits, taken long ago.
their black and white faces bear little resemblance
to the people you knew,

the people whose blood now pumps
through your veins, a rich stew
of DNA and memories
you cannot escape.

There is the dancer, the musicians, the brute.
the loving enablers, the broken, the gentle saint,
the wise and foolish, the fearful,
the lovers and the lost

All living inside you.
It’s a wonder you don’t burst
with cacophony of blood that wrestles
for your soul,

But you are more than this collage
of history and emotion.
You have your own soul, your own madnesses,
your own wild love,

God given. Tested, not yet finished,
not yet ready
to join the history lesson
that lines your wall.

About this poem

As I move things from my parents’ house into mine, my mind naturally drifts to my family. I have had the blessing of knowing, as an adult, my parents, my grandparents and several great grandparents. I knew them as people, and that is a treasure, that makes each reminder of them that lives in my home, a living thing, not just a museum piece.

The picture was taken up the stairway to my bedroom.



One comment

  1. As we get older we all have stair cases or hallways with family pictures. I remember as a child when visiting relatives homes and thought it eerie with all those pictures. But know they too adorn my walls.
    This is an excellent piece!

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