after "Very" by Kurt S. Olssen:
This is my family. I don’t have family. Our family gave way
(even before my mother fell sick). I think some families
are better without having happened. Pretend we didn’t.
Debris predominates, and joyfulness. We try so hard
to act as if we’re not brothers and a sister with partners
and children, birthdays and holidays. We’re too old for all that.
Imagine a country where each child trims five trees
every Christmas to get that whole thing out of the way
so they can grow up into separated non-celebrants.
The only problem . . . look, why are we all together again?
Family: grossly mismatched garments, gathered off the line
and shaken, smoothed, buttoned into bafflingly perfect fit.