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Tag Archives: family

Tying up the loose ends
Like a video game
When you’ve completed the main quest
And there’s nothing more to do
But wait for the next adventure.
The fond farewells of characters
Who’ve made this tapestry sparkle.
The relief of cutting off from people
Who hold you down and push you back.
The creaking of zips, straining against luggage.
Everything you need to survive contained in two suitcases.
And a backpack.
But there are some things that just can’t be squeezed into hand luggage.
The people you love the most for example.
It’s a choice you have to make:
Adventure, or love.
Fortunately, you can settle for both;
They will still be there when you return.
Or so you keep telling yourself.
In the meantime, you make do with the pixels on screen,
And the mechanical voices that claim to be your family.
And try to find a surrogate family to see you through the absence.

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He slumps in the plump, winged armchair
Of his expensively furnished study,
In his enormous, princely palace,
With a healthy measure of the finest Scotch
That money can buy,
And he weeps.
The man who everyone believes has it all
Weeps
For the one thing he cannot have.
The girl.
The sweet, innocent, pretty young thing,
With a smile like sunshine
And a heart of gold finer than any that a jeweler could supply.
This beautiful rose
Who married for love,
Not wealth, or convenience.
And who,
For the time being,
Is sheltered, protected,
In a warm cocoon
Of pure, perfect, unconditional, and reciprocated adoration.
What her husband lacks in money
He more than makes up for with time.
Endless thoughtful gestures.
A hand to hold when seas are rough.
Someone to laugh with in the summertime.
A man to grow old with.
And that is why the rich man weeps.
Because he is all too aware
That the flashiest car available cannot transport him
To where he yearns to be.
In her arms.
That all the powerful allies
Cannot change the feelings of a woman’s heart.
That the largest of mansions
Are cold and hollow
Without a lover to share them.
But worst of all, he knows
That all the money in the world
Cannot buy her love.
And while she will die,
Surrounded by those she holds dear,
With a smile on her face,
He will die cold and alone,
Wishing that he could make his choice again
Between wealth and success.
As he wipes the last traces of Scotch from his lips,
A painful epiphany reveals itself:
Happiness,  success, and wealth
Are not always synonymous.
And that is why the rich man weeps.

I felt guilt
For traits of mine that showed in you.
And I wish I hadn’t passed them on.
I felt pride
When you stood up for what you believed in.
But I wish that I had done the same.
I felt pain
When you cried over bullies at school.
But I wish I could have taught you that they just didn’t matter.
I felt joy
When you climbed higher than me.
But I wish that I’d tried harder.
I look forward
To the day you give me grandchildren.
Because I know you’ll do a better job than I ever did.

Careful hands.
The zest of the perfume you wore.
The jumpers, soft, like the pelt of a rabbit,
Were misleading.
You were strong. Lioness.
The queen of practicality,
Of domesticity.
As a tiny child, I basked in your warmth.
And even now, when the smell of citrus makes itself known,
I am safe.