Family Portrait

Stop looking back

Stop illustrating your happy memories in


Start seeing the shadows

Paint in oil

Smear past tears onto your canvas.

Parents then

Friends now.

The hours spent in your room

Becoming a better person

Seeing red

Feeling red

Hating to brush your hair

Become wicked cycles when you

Repeat the colors of your childhood and

Paint in the same shades.

Be a bridge between a broken cycle and

The legacy you pass down.

Reach for a new palette

Brushstroke sunrises instead of sunsets.

Too many people punish and

Forget to teach.

Loved ones then

Loved ones now.

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

Written for Experiments in Fiction Poetry Challenge #12: The Poetry of Childhood.

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28 thoughts on “Family Portrait

Add yours

  1. Ooooh, I like this piece. The reference of using oil over watercolors is strong. It is easier to manipulate watercolor and remove it if we made a mistake. Oils, a bit harder, but we have to roll with it. Thank you for sharing this!

    Nancy ✨

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Too many people punish and forget to teach” I love this line, Jaya! Your work is amazing and it’s truly relevant for me. Thank you for being you and for your such amazing talent! ✨😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Smear past tears onto your canvas. A wonderful line.
    I’m not sure, but feel you are talking about verbal/physical
    Child Abuse. I might be wrong, it’s how a read it. however it is a cycle that is often repeated. 💔🖤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Writing this poem I had spanking in mind and, while, I am not talking specifically of violence as big as child abuse, it is definitely something that can be read into this piece.

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

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