A Superficial Family: Two Poems

Photo by Brigita Przybylski

By Brigita Przybylski

Setting Fire to the Family Tree

I’ve never learned how to love myself 

More than I was told to love anyone else

And I’m doing alright now, I know 

I’m surrounded by my mother’s lies

I turn away from the anger in my father’s eyes

When I started to put myself first

I became ostracized after they ignored my cries for help  

But I realized that they are the problem, not me

I don’t want to be grounded with roots underneath 

I want to be happy and free 

I’m more than a name on the family tree 

Me is all that I want to be 

Burning down the branches

Dancing in the ashes 

Kicking up the leaves 

Laughing in the smoke 

Setting fire to the family tree 

Me is all that I want to be 

My Stage Family

I feel judged

Don’t feel loved

Feel like I’m acting in a play 

I memorized all my lines 

And never break character 

You hope the stage lights 

Hit us just right 

To blind them from reality 

And neither of you can see 

Me for who I really am 

I wish, after the applause, 

I could leave this pretend family

I don’t fit right,

Even though it was typecasted 

My childish romances would’ve never lasted 

And now I’m taller than you,

I don’t look up to you 

I hope the prop weapon is switched for the real 

Bleeding out my blood relations 

Superficial conversations 

Manipulative calculations 

Authoritarian incantations 

Abusive aggravations 

Trauma causations  

The audience doesn’t see 

And neither does my stage family 

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