Families are great,
But they can be very lonely
When everyone else is married
And is raising kids;
When they are all dog people.

 I am not a dog person-
I love my cat.
I love other women.
I am not married
And I don’t want kids.

I had an abortion two years ago,
But, “Hush!” let’s not talk about that.
I have a part-time job
And I live with my parents.
I am trying to obtain disability.

 I have to watch my conversations
And not be too radical,
Or too jaded
Or too feminist.
I see their secret smiles
And their hidden laughter.

 Still, I love my family.
We have fun and eat good food,
But it would be nice
To have one kindred familial friend-
To not wonder if my cousins
Are not secretly hoping that
Their children don’t end up like me. 

Families are great,
But they’re also depressing.
Do they see my secret tears?
I am crumbling inside. 

I love my family,
But it is always
So much better
To be back home.

*************************************

I wrote this slightly melodramatic poem during Easter on my way home after visiting some relatives.  I really, really love my family, but I was struggling with some depression at the time and I always struggle with feeling at least a little bit like an outsider when I’m around them, as I am single, queer and not athletic in any way.  I also struggle, because I sometimes feel like I have to censor myself and I’m really not the best at making small talk.  As for the part referencing my abortion-it’s not that I talk or even think about it that much anymore, but I started thinking about it more when I knew I couldn’t talk about it at all.  Funny how that works…  I usually write poetry when I’m depressed, angry, stressed or a combination of all three.  I find poetry helps me purge out my disturbing emotions better than almost anything else.  It’s a handy coping tool too, because while there are often times when one can’t talk about what’s going on internally, one can always write about it.  I try to make sure that I always have a pen and some paper in my purse for that very reason.  I hope you can relate to the poem-I think just about everybody struggles with comparisons and feeling out of place sometimes when visiting family.

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