It’s Not Pretty

I drag my marriage
through childhood,
past my mother’s critiques
and sister’s insanity,
expose the woman
my father longed to be,
strip them all down
and parade them
full monty,
our sordidness
splayed across the floor
like shepherd’s pie
smashed into linoleum –
a mess of madness
and emotion and
cranked out fables:
denial served up
as acceptable fare.

I am obsessed –
driven by compulsion
to cleanse the sticky,
rotting muck oozing
through the cracks
of our faulty foundation,
need to sanitize floorboards,
unearth explanations
salvage what thread
of sensibility remains
before this orgy
of dysfunction
derails progress
drags my childhood
through marriage.


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

15 thoughts on “It’s Not Pretty”

  1. What a powerful idea you invoke here — or dragging a marriage through one’s childhood, or vice-versa. You’ve hit on something quite profound with this poem.

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  2. Maybe not pretty, but soooo well said! Sometimes I surprise myself with what I tell Gary about my earlier life – now I have a metaphor for such: cleaning up that old sticky mess! Thank you! Poetically beautifully framed with first two and last two lines.

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    1. Thank you – it stemmed from a dream, and I decided to keep the image of shepherd’s pie as it is so symbolic of our family life – roast on Sunday, leftovers with Yorkshire puddings Monday, and shepherd’s pie tuesday – the worst meal of the week, lol.

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