Wives Tales

Written by Jena Jekums

“The myth of family is / Their presence in your life.”

***TW: suicide, parent loss***

God was napping
When my mother took her life.
I don’t blame him. I assume
His job is a heavy one.
The way you know your dad
Goes to work each morning 
As an “engineer” but never
Ask what that entails.

The myth of family is
Their presence in your life.
When they are there
At your soccer games
At your breakfast
In your journal, 
You’re too lost in self-acquiescence 
For their forms to fill 
Any voids.
Not at twenty-five,
Then you feel the olive-pit 
Blackness, clawing like a basset
Hound down your spine,
But you’re too proud to 
Call it hunger. 

The joke is that your grandmother
Is the only one who really
Accepts your comings and going’s,
And she’s the next to lose.
It’s the women you meet along the way
Who call you family, who swoop you up to fade
Into oblivion when their real family
Requires it.

The joke is the houses,
And the rent, and the dinners,
And the games,
And the chicken Parmesan some
“Family” is serving on a platter.

It all boils to brim until 
Finally one day, you just shout 
“Fuck it! 
Just chuck an instant ramen 
In the pot. See!
It’s the same. It’s quick 
And it’s easy, and when
You’re full, you toss it
Down the drain.”

Like what you see? You can read more of Jena’s work in our Vol. 2 print edition!

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