Category Archives: family

These are poems about family relationships, mostly directly related to my own.

Christmas Eve

What would it be like
to be with you one more time
for our whole family to spend
one more Christmas Eve night

You sitting there, eyes closed
legs crossed, bopping your head
singing along to mom and dad’s Grateful Dead

I’d love to see you helping B
decorate the Christmas tree
showing him how to blow the tinsel
so it falls evenly
investigating the presents with him
when mom and dad can’t see
singing our favorite carols, gleefully

Eggnog with rum and big bellied laughter
blissfully unaware of our impending never after

Staying up late to play Santa
and stuffing B’s stocking
reminiscing about our own
childhood Christmas mornings

Another one that you won’t see
except as the Angel
that tops our Christmas tree

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breaking your heart

I’m watching it all falling to pieces
and I just don’t want to believe it
seeing my sturdy, weathered rock
crumbling apart, turning to dust

maybe that’s all life ever does
twist and hurt and end
maybe I just didn’t want to see it
but maybe that’s all it’s ever been

cause it’s all happening
it’s all falling apart
maybe no one ever
really finishes what they start

seems that life
just loves
to keep breaking your heart

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my unborn teenage daughter

i’ll make sure
she knows
that she can always
confide in me
that i will be
her sounding board
whatever the situation
may be

i’ll make sure
she’s mindful
of other people’s
spirits
so that when others
are masking
their pains
she will hear it

i’ll teach her
to be thankful
for other people’s
generosity
tell her it’s good
to feed her
curiosities

i’ll teach her
to stand up
against mean-spirited
cruelness
tell her
not to be afraid
to look
a little foolish

i’ll tell her
that words
can hurt
and hearts
can ache
i’ll tell her
to be good
for goodness’ sake

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i remember

i remember
when i used to feel her
in the breeze
on a warm day
and how it felt
like she knew
everything i wanted
to say

i remember
the way she moved
when she heard a song
she really liked
and the snort like
noises she would make
when we were having
a fight

i remember
the way her face
used to look
when she laughed
how she’d sound
during that
open-mouthed chuckle
she always had

i remember
her humor
the kind of jokes
that she liked
the pure delight
on her face
was always such
a lovely sight

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the little things

its funny how
its the little things
you never seem to lose
the shape of her eyebrows
the size of her shoes
its sad how its the big things
i’m starting to forget
the tone of her laugh
or her biggest accomplishment
its scary to think
about how fast the years
have gone by
since i last saw her smile
since i last heard her cry
it pains me to know
that there are days
i dont think of her
that there will come a time
when i’ll have to try
to remember her
i think about her life
about what it could have been
if only she had known
how soon it was going to end

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if you knew

i still remember
when we were little kids
mom would always dress us up
in those many matching outfits
and we would play together
ride our bikes or watch tv
that is until we got a little older
and you started to become
a little jealous of me
i was the one that had the friends
that mom and dad approved of
and you started seeing their approval
as a measure of their love

you were always looking
for someplace where you’d belong
somewhere that you didnt feel
like everything you did was wrong

i’m sorry i didnt try harder
to be a friend to you
to help you navigate the awkwardness
that you were going through

all that time and its only now
that i’m starting to see
that something may have happened to you
something like what happened to me

i cant explain the guilt i feel
for not knowing if its true
for not talking about these kinds of things
like normal sisters do

i only wish i could go back
and try to talk to you
tell you that youre not alone
that we went through it too

i just cant stop thinking
that if you knew
maybe it would have changed
how things ended up for you

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ange

i’m trying to remember
the shape of her smile
revisit the times
when we were young
for a while

been trying to recall
the tone of her laugh
you would think
it would be easy
27 years – you do the math

she used to make these faces
that were so uniquely her
sometimes i see them on her son
and my heart feels
like it just cast out a lure

sometimes i find myself
sitting in my car
or alone in an empty corner
of the local bar
talking to her
as if she were there
as if to remind her
how much i still care

i’m missing you, ange
and i hope that you know
that the pain of losing you
only seems to continue to grow

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missing my sister

and just
like that
she was gone
just when you think
that life
is so long
no more of
her laughter
no more of
her tears
no more inside jokes
collected
through the years

i’m just missing
my sister
wishing
i’d listened to her
longing to go back
before the attack
to tell her
i love her
that i’d be
lost without her
it kills me
to know
that it may
not have showed

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angry

i am angry
about all of the time
i thought that we had
to develop the kind
of relationship
i had always wanted
to have

i thought that we’d
get older
and learn to lean
on each others shoulders
that in time our differences
would be subdued
and we would chat
like sisters do

but we will never
get that chance
no matter what may be
the circumstance

i’m so sorry i didnt
try harder during
the time that we had
i really had
no idea
that things were that bad

now all i can do
is miss you
keep piling up
the tissues
deal with this
itching
that says something
is missing
let sorrow sedate me
and succumb to its
aching

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dont fall apart

i understand that it
is difficult for you
with everything
that we’ve been through
grief on top
of all the things
that the stress
of daily life can bring

but now is not the time
for us to fall apart
to surrender to the void
that exists in each of our hearts

we need to hold on
to the family we’ve still got
i need you to give support
and empathy a shot

look at each other
and try to remember
all of the reasons
that you’ve stayed together
think about
all of these years
remember all of the laughter
and yes, all of the tears

the triumphs and joys
and the pain that you’ve
been through
the times that
have shaped you
the times that
couldn’t break you

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one less

i regret the days
i wished for
one less
the days that
i thought
just us three
would be best

i regret the unanswered invitations
and all those missed calls
the times not shared
when you were still right there
only separated by walls.

because now its just
us three
and its taken all this
to make me see
that these three
will forever be
aching to be
one more
once more

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together forever

i’m not sure how much more
i can stand to lose
not sure how to put
this restless hollow aching
to good use

i wish i knew

i smile and tell jokes
to make things feel light
its my way of showing hope
that we’ll we alright

mommy and daddy
i just want us to be happy

i cant watch any more
of my life fall apart
not sure i can handle
another tear
on my scar laden heart

i need you to hold on
to give it some time
let the stresses of this year
clear from your mind

mommy and daddy
lets just be happy

hes a clever funny guy
but theres something
eating at him inside
she can feel it pulling him down
but its just too much
for her to be around

mommy and daddy
cant we be happy

you have been through
so much together
always battled through
the stormy weather

you two are my rock
you’re the ground that i grew from
feels like i’m losing my footing
like some earthquake is coming

mommy and daddy
i just want you to be happy
together, yeah

together forever

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