Saturday, April 02, 2016



Prompt:  "write a poem that takes the form of a family portrait. You could write, for example, a stanza for each member of your family. You could also find an actual snapshot of your family and write a poem about it, spending a little bit of time on each person in the picture."

Well, sometimes I can really get into writing about family, but today is not such a time. I resisted admirably, finally resorting to digging out this photograph and writing a terse little poem about it.

X Chromosomes and Dog—a Portrait

The oldest would live 
another fourteen years, 
still spoken of today, 
her January birthday remembered.

The rest still here; except the dog 
who learned how to stop and look 
when crossing the highway
after a miracle-gentle bumper 
put him briefly in the ditch.

Some six decades on, the four who are left
sport scars from disparate lives.
They still get on.

Absent from the photograph as from life,
the son-in-law/husband/father 
who took the picture,
and the cat he called Snakehead
because of its penchant for leaving 
such things on the doorstep.


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