Genealogy Visit

After an offer of coffee or tea
from this elderly cousin,
her rooms festooned
with knick knacks and doilies

she shifts position.
Her eyes well.

She confides dark stories,
Infidelities, drunkenness, violence,
the fear of leaving a brute.

I have no place to file
the flailing fists,
the ever watchful eye,
the countless repetitions
of a broken vow.

Drawn into her world,
trailing
long hours of conversation,
notebook forgotten.

She repeats
three times
“I hated him.”

===
For @dVersePoets Open Link Night.

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18 thoughts on “Genealogy Visit

  1. heavy. its hard to know what to say in those situations…and listening to it probably goes a long way quite honestly….we all need our stories heard and validated…but now you too must carry it…which is not always fair….

  2. You were the “fly on the wall” witness to an almost Dostoyevskian family drama….Difficult to witness…yet it seems all families have their skeletons…and we are bound to be distant witnesses…uncovering history and myth. An interesting write..~jackie~

  3. Goodness me. I’m glad to read that the revelations weren’t a total surprise to you. But still difficult, nonetheless. Unravelling family lore and history is not always the warm glow we anticipate.

  4. Sad situation. But getting out of it is most important and unfortunately a lot of women never try to do that, always placing the blame on themselves. “If I had only done something differently then he wouldn’t have felt the need to hit me…” Excuse me for being presumptive, but the last line repeated three times tells me that she too might feel responsible – at least a little bit – for his criminal behavior…. Please take her hand and tell her firmly that it is his fault….. and although hate is a terrible word, if that is what it took to get her away from that kind of situation then GOOD!

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