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Perhaps It’s in the Fine Print

January 16, 2018

Is there some loophole

in the contract of a family

that allows one or more members

to cast out,


and disenfranchise


without qualms

or guilt

or even so much

as a backwards glance?


You are born into a family,

you don’t get to choose

your parents

or siblings.

You are taught

to honour

and obey,

to respect

and fit in.

But what if you are

the black sheep,

the outlier,

the one who just

doesn’t belong?


Does that give others

the right

to judge you

and criticize your decisions,

engage in treachery

and deceit,

be disloyal

and two-faced,

to celebrate your failures

and disparage your successes

as if you didn’t deserve them,

and turn envy into hatred

and resentment into lies

repeated so often

they become their truth

and their insidious licence

to destroy relationships

built on a lifetime of

love and trust and blood?


Hollywood makes movies

and TV shows about

dysfunctional families

who are more authentic

than most would admit.

Someone once said

“family is made up of people

you wouldn’t associate with

if you weren’t related to them”.

Surely that doesn’t give them

the right to

rebuke you for

not sharing your personal pain

or not asking for their approval,

their sanctification

for decisions made,

roads taken

that were none of their business

in the first place.

Or to censure you

for supporting and caring

for another

with total unselfish devotion

when they wouldn’t

or couldn’t

do the same.


Where is the loophole

in the contract of a family

that allows


and envy,


and distrust

to eek past


and faithfulness,


and affection

to so thoroughly

and contemptibly

taint the principle

of “true brotherly love”?


Perhaps it’s in the fine print.



NOTE: I’d like to give a shout out to KJ Eastwick (“Stories from an Eclectic Mind”) , whose Daily Prompt-inspired poems have motivated me to rekindle my own interest in writing poetry, something I hope to continue exploring here on … the other side of 55.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Melody DeBlois permalink
    January 16, 2018 5:55 pm

    I love the emotion in your poem, and I think you should keep writing poetry. You have a talent for it, Margo. Your sincerity touched me greatly.

    • January 16, 2018 6:04 pm

      Thanks, Melody. I used to write a lot of poetry when I was a teen (my first published piece was a poem printed in my high school yearbook). Its exciting to go back and revisit my first creative love!

  2. January 16, 2018 4:29 pm

    So much truth in your poem, Margo. In my opinion, there shouldn’t be any fine print in our family contracts. Love unconditionally should be bold-face right at the beginning of such a document. 🙂

    • January 16, 2018 5:29 pm

      I agree; unfortunately, some people seem to think they can ignore what’s ‘right’ for what’s in their best interests.

  3. January 16, 2018 4:06 pm

    Excellent…held my attention and so accurate!

  4. January 16, 2018 2:53 pm

    Thanks so much Margo. It is a bit mind blowing to think that I have inspired you. When I started my blog it was to get over my hang ups about sharing my work. Lovely to think it has helped others.
    I was also going to comment about how much I liked this poem, but I forgot the powerful thing I was going to say because of your compliment. Thanks 🙂

    • January 16, 2018 3:38 pm

      I cannot believe you can find the time to write something every single day! You are an inspiration!

      • January 17, 2018 1:56 am

        Back to school today. I am going to try to keep the writing up. Not sure it will work.

      • January 17, 2018 8:14 am

        I struggle to write one thing a WEEK and I’m retired! Good luck – I look forward to reading more of your work.

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