They’re Just Family, After All

In anticipation of guests,
the hostess – always bent
on pleasing – carefully selects
the script, ascribes roles,
envisions an afternoon
of light repartee, peppered
with philosophical pondering –
satisfactory entertainment.

They’re just family, after all,
she tells herself, confident
in the outcome, fatally smug.

Crowd arriving, she fails
to read disinterest in the eyes,
politely attempts to orchestrate
interactions, while they cast about,
calculating, shunning protocols
of etiquette,  dispersing in
an unsettling way, then returning,
savagely encircling their prey.

They’re just family, after all,
she tells herself, panic rising,
confusion overriding confidence.

Unprepared to defend herself –
bears no arms but the giving type –
she ducks, grasps, attempts
retreat from the onslaught
of vindictive agendas, but the wall
of stored grievances, spotlighting
a history of injustices, corners
her, hopelessness in its wake.

They’re just family, after all,
she tells herself, knowing
full well the legacy of pain.

It is friends, in the end,
who save her – a surefooted
cavalry, bearing swords of
understanding, compassion
their war cry – reigning in the
once-invited, now betraying
guests – objective hearts
demanding an end to the fray.

They’re just family, after all,
she tells them, tells herself,
composure a mere thread.

Tables turned, the offenders
now plead for forgiveness,
beg for help, pretend the slights
were unintentional, harmless,
expect their hostess to step
over the bloodied and slain bits
of herself, and with benevolence,
restore her love for them again.

They’re just family, after all,
she says weakly, the torn script
of her expectations scattered.

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7 comments

  1. I particularly love the image of the war-broken woman….you really captured the feeling…the exhaustion after the easy expectation…I also love the idea of the women protectors…when I was dealing with an illness, I loved how my friends encircled me with their wagons.

    Like

  2. I am tired too. I have given a lot to make their lives better. But they continue to take and expect. I realize what I saw as kindness set me up for the fate of the doormat.

    Liked by 2 people

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