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Family Portrait (Free verse) by Mr Pig
Everything looks perfect in a Silver frame, But after the flashlight nothing would change, Dad would plan his itinerary for the day, Flick a shilling and tell me to go away, He always played himself at chess, But would keep the pawns in the Ivory scabbards, Mum would find company in loneliness, Outside with the squirrels she took years to tame, Till Dad would shoot them when there was no more game. I remember this particular squirrel, It never hesitated to approach my Mum, And it was afraid of its shadow from the Autumn sun, It never came back when Dad fired his gun. I remember the well dressed lady with the crooked smile, She would smell of musk and smoke Cafe creme, She always came round Sundays at six, While Mum was at mass keeping up appearances, Dad would walk in a talcum cloud, And cackle at her every word aloud, He would put our family portrait face down, The King of bastard pawns ashamed of his crown, She would sit in Mums Walnut chair by the fire In all her finery and Persian silk attire, Acting as if they had no cares in the world, Until the cuckoo called then the cuckoo would flock, As the hands of time would push her away, And Mum would come back to finish cleaning at 8 O clock. Dad would give me a sugar plum, Then tap my shoulder and say 'good boy', I would go upstairs and read Hemingway to Mum, She held me close and would say 'My beautiful Boy'. The pawns never left the scabbard, But the Squirrels came every now and then, On my 8th Birthday Dad played me at chess, My pawns helped me to beat him, And Mum that day wore a summer dress, She too knew how to defeat him, Dad left at six for a while, My Family Portrait, Everyone now shoulders back, Wait for the light, And smile !

Up the ladder: she did not
Down the ladder: On the Swings

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Votes: (green: user, blue: anonymous)
10  .. 40
.. 60
.. 30
.. 10
.. 01
.. 00
.. 10
.. 00
.. 10
.. 00
.. 33

Arithmetic Mean: 5.9565215
Weighted score: 5.9393177
Overall Rank: 1382
Posted: March 10, 2003 2:33 PM PST; Last modified: March 10, 2003 2:36 PM PST
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[9] wLeBlancw @ | 10-Mar-03/3:02 PM | Reply
Reads like a short story. Traditional. Nothing new. Some nice images.
[8] INTRANSIT @ | 10-Mar-03/3:16 PM | Reply
S-2 L-13 delete or blend ,maybe. I assumed there was a passing of time when the cuckoos flocked. Send your dad your guts.
[n/a] Mr Pig @ > INTRANSIT | 10-Mar-03/3:43 PM | Reply
Hello Sir Intransit, so kind of you to endulge one with your comment. The Cuckoo is the nest stealing mistress of my Father, and may God wet his ashes this fine eve.
[n/a] Mr Pig @ > INTRANSIT | 10-Mar-03/3:44 PM | Reply
I do believe my Father would not recognize my guts, he had none of his own.
[9] spank me baby yeah @ | 10-Mar-03/3:46 PM | Reply
Bet Fathers day in your house was quiet huh? some real arresting images here, tragic, sweet, quite sad I liked it a lot 9
[9] wLeBlancw @ | 10-Mar-03/4:10 PM | Reply
I re-read it and I liked it much better the second time around. It's amazing how much you miss by reading things once. Here's a 9. By the way, my father also had a mistress so I can identify. Every summer we would go to the beach together as mom stayed at home. She made my dad happy so he treated my mom even better. I do not necessarily thing that it is a bad thing to have one as long as you can manage to keep everyone happy.
[8] INTRANSIT @ | 10-Mar-03/7:46 PM | Reply
Drats! I do believe my speed reading from high school has become malignant.
[0] poetandknowit @ | 10-Mar-03/10:31 PM | Reply
A poor attempt at imitating Dark Angel while still sounding like the goof of a poet cadacus! Crap all around!
[8] horus8 @ | 11-Mar-03/1:17 PM | Reply
"Dad would walk in a talcum cloud," great line.

I would end this not "And smile!" but


that's why your not grabbing the tens.8.
[9] Ranger @ | 11-Mar-03/1:27 PM | Reply
Wow. Mr. Pig, I am pleased to see a longer poem than the haikus-and this is wonderful. Other than that I can only say I love your poems! Teach me!

And line 8 in stanza 2 is the best
[9] Mutant_X @ | 11-Apr-03/4:07 PM | Reply
"Mum would find company in loneliness"
"Everything looks perfect in a Silver frame"
"The King of bastard pawns ashamed of his crown"

i liked these most of all,each one made a vision itself.i give this 9

[n/a] Christof @ | 13-May-03/4:06 AM | Reply
This would be great as prose, as it is the rhymes just make it all seem bathetic (the best lines are those where the boy reads Hemingway and the mother holds him close - non-rhyming and rhythmically perfect). The chess image is an interesting one which supports the theme of power.
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