family matters

his father said ‘that older woman
relieves you on her witching bed
but needs dictate you put her aside for now
as she cannot find acceptance
in our elders’ notions of ideal
doesn’t qualify for what they have in mind
the time has come to listen to the head’

‘next month at annual session
they’ll choose a fresh adolescent
with whom you’ll make the sacrifice
to bring forth an heir
and present the family name to heaven’

‘then present deeds become unspoken
and if you choose after ninety days
and ninety nights of fidelity
to shuffle back to the witch’s bed
they’ll turn their heads
for you’ll have satisfied the terms
and brought happiness to all’

‘let’s prepare then to celebrate
a selfless groom and a willing girl’

25 thoughts on “family matters

  1. This has the feel of some ancient text and yet is so relevant to how some cultures view different genders. A piece where the reader needs to look beneath the surface. Well written, John.

  2. Prearranged marriages speak to the chauvinistic practices of mankind, of past and current societies. Where women are objects of convenience to be used as no more than drudges to sate the wishes of men. Love barely survives as a concept within them. You bring poetic justice to the prevalence of that practice John, thank you. Ever your friend, Jon Michael

  3. This poem is powerful. I guess, I’m not that good with symbolism, but these lines certainly have a heavy content.

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