Our mothers and fathers have had their say. And now we check in with the rest of the Peanut Gallery. Families come in all configurations and sizes, and their influence is no less important to our development.


Part 18: Sibling Revelry – Write about one (or all) of your siblings. If you were an only child, was there a cousin who filled that gap? If not, write about your feelings about being the “one and only.”


With my big sister, Peg


Perhaps an only child would once have preferred to remain so.
Perhaps she grapples still in deep or shallow recesses,
Never quite comfortable journeying in sister shoes.

Yet as she treks time’s encounters, does she open her eyes to see
Herself reflected in those of her sister’s affection,
And perchance recognize how deeply loved and valued she is.

© Copyright – Marie Elena Good – 2012

*The photo messes with the form, but it’s staying.  I love it. 😉

P.S.  My sister has embarked on a journey late in life that has ordained her as a minister.  She just received a new pastoral position at a UCC church in Owosso, Michigan.  Personally, I can’t envision myself being as unselfishly giving of my time as is required of the pastor of a church.  I’m so very proud of her for this.



More than five times have I been blessed,
from my vantage point, the middle man.

Two sisters and four brothers
all offspring of the same mother,

all with their quirks and styles,
(everyone with Dad’s smile) and

a completely separate branch on the family tree,
foliage gone, but the rings around the trunk

assure a longevity; a brevity in the span
of this vast universe so created, and elated

that we have come to reconnect at a time
when the incredible shrinking surname

wanes towards obscurity. A factual surety
that frames this portrait with love and understanding

no longer demanding and pompous, an enormous relief
in the belief that in assuming the mantle left behind

we will find our footing and map out new ground,
profound in the knowledge of our origin and happy

we were afforded the opportunity to flex our wile,
while never straying far from our connection.

Joseph, your history is our mystery. Not around long enough
to make a blemish, although leaving your mark on our fabric.

Cynthia, queen mother so assumed, groomed for the position
of matriarch with enough of a spark to be yourself.

Paul, sure and independent, most reticent to belong,’
too strong for your own good, a marvel with wood.

Tim, wild and free, determined to take life by the throat
and squeeze every ounce out of its living.

Ken, backbone in question, but heart always in place,
a face only a mother could love, (and she could have been jiving!)

Laurie, a singular soul, her only attachments are her siblings
and her felines, straddling the fine line of “Crazy Cat Lady”.

Where does that leave me? The word guy, know-it-all,
writing the script that skirts dysfunction for the joy our bond provides.

You have that right, Brother!

© Copyright – Walter J. Wojtanik 2010