Please write a narrative poem that focuses on the workings of a family, whether it be your own or one that you've created from scratch.
I have to tell you this prompt gave me pause. Even though I minored in poetry writing in undergrad (after my parents said I should rethink my love of geology because a geology major or minor was NOT PRACTICAL. Poetry, apparently, is the stuff of the Protestant work ethic. But I digress), poetry has not ever been my writerly thing. Or else I have never felt comfortable claiming it as such.
Daddy Goes to Work and Mom Stays Home
Coffee pot sputters, purrs, sputs.
Milk slides, kisses, splashes plastic cups.
at my knee. Not hungry! Not hungry! Not hungry!
from a voice banging Thomas on train table, deafening clanging dulled
by coffee on lips slipping down my welcoming throat propelling
me to toaster, fridge, cabinet, table.
Plates they can't shatter, forks that won't spear, knives that can't cut,
paper napkins printed with berried holly in August,
Dora exploring the screen in front of our table, we break
fast with cream cheese, peanut butter.
Above our heads, heavy
footsteps, blanketed thuds, basket scraping carpet.
Laundry fairy makes our beds,
is jovial in the kitchen,
escaping with old dinners in Tupperware, blessed coffee in styrofoam. He
drops kisses on their heads, mine.
Shoulders bag, trots down stairs arms overflowing
with yesterday's clothes, last night's towels.
Washer lid creaks open, soap slithers, knob clicks, water rushes,
lid bangs, back door slams.
Garage door heaves itself open with a scream
that almost needs attention.
Car revs, gravel crunches, garage screams again,
softer this time, resigned.