Mixed Marriage

"We are not like other families,"

remarked my father

impaled sideways through his head by a stick,

feet dancing in thin air.

My mother wore black crepe

though her husband lived yet, suspended,

and I, the fruit of her womb, refused her invitation

to stay still beneath her fingers at the bottom of the bath.

We had a dog with a nervous condition

and a ghost in the basement by the water softener.

My father covered the story and his un-impaled eye,

seeing old sweethearts in his dreams.

Mother tried to move me into the basement incinerator,

but was prevented by the ghost. 

Daddy liked swing music and Dixieland jazz,

insisting the stick was a clarinet and the dog Benny Goodman,

And though not observant, he did walk on Saturdays.


for Sunday Muse #134, where I am hosting.


  1. OH Shay...this is dysfunction as it's finest! Sometimes we do many crazy things trying to survive. Sadly, some of us don't make it past the first set of songs in life. As always you have knocked our socks off my friend!!

  2. Nice writing, Shay, a little scary. Your ending contradicted my suposition while reading, that the mixture was racial and not religious. My extended family has plenty of each.
    "... ghost in the basement by the water softener ... " will be my favorite here, I have an aversion for ghosts.
    Thank you for this neat inspiration photo.

  3. A mad dysfunctional, I trust fictional entirely, unlikeable family.

  4. I'm dizzy in love with this. Head-banging craziness of families, the father with the stick through his head becoming the clarinet is amazing. And this: "to stay still beneath her fingers at the bottom of the bath" -- that's, that's, *disturbing but brilliant*.

  5. Just the other side of fairy tale, but still unnerving.

  6. Well, that certainly ties a mismatch up with a bow on it, and shows us the way a sick mind can infect everything and everyone around it. The metaphor of the stick and nervous dog in particular brought the grue. I'm thankful there was some jazz to cover up the screams. Great writing, Shay.

  7. Do you dream these? Is it PTSD ? Do you meditate them? Summon them? I honestly cannot fathom the amazing imagination/mind that is SHAY. Whew.

  8. Wowzers. No wonder the dog had a nervous condition! Your writing always blows me away. I echo Helen. No idea where these amazing poems come from. Just keep 'em coming.

  9. The horror of the most dysfunctional dysfunction. We write out our monsters only to have them haunt when least expected. Powerful, creative writing Shay!

  10. Ooh! Scary dysfunction. Great writing, Shay!


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