NaPoWriMo 2016, Poetry
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NaPoWriMo Day Two


Today’s prompt for NaPoWriMo is to write a family-portrait poem. To be honest I wasn’t entirely sure what to write for this one. I’ve written about numerous family members before, my mother in ‘Your Sheep‘, my sister in ‘Jo’, my Great Gran in ‘Ba‘ and the women of my family as a whole in ‘The Women I Came From‘. Both my Grandfathers have poems about them, the one actually has two! The second poem ‘Rock’n’Roll‘ was more about him and my Grandmother watching their family grow up however. All in all my family has played a pretty massive part in inspiring my writing so today’s prompt is more than a little tricky. What is left to say that you as a reader won’t find in another one of my poems?


This Family

It’s the sort of family where everyone in Shropshire

is a cousin of some kind.

Introductions become a test of how many links

it takes to skip from you to them

and who in between you both know.

With Dad it’s a little different.

Irish mother, Scottish father,

scandal wedding and English small holding.

Three kids and almost no links to speak of…

Until the three weddings

a husband, two wives,

and all the family that came with them.

My mother is a Swinnerton

and they like to claim heritage back to 1066

where William the Conqueror earned his name

and Sir William Swinnerton got his stake of land

to do with what he will.

On this side therefore there are cousins in gaggles

and aunts, uncles, great upon great

until your head spins for so many generations

of such and such or so and sos.

There are those aunts that somehow know them all

and insist on telling you just how you relate

to the greater picture of the family

despite the fact ten minutes later

you’ve forgotten her name as well.

My family is a great, sprawling mess

impossible to escape.

Any yet when I left for uni

I missed nothing more

than the feeling of belonging

to something larger than myself.

This entry was posted in: NaPoWriMo 2016, Poetry


Carol J Forrester is a writer and a history geek. Her debut collection 'It's All In The Blood' came out November 2019. She has a 2:1 BA degree in history from Bath Spa University, enjoys judo at least twice a week, and tries to attend poetry events around the Midlands when she can. Her flash fiction story ‘Glorious Silence’ was named as River Ram Press’ short story of the month for August 2014 and her short story ‘A Visit From The Fortune Teller’ has been showcased on the literary site Ink Pantry. Her poems ‘Sunsets’ and ‘Clear Out‘ were featured on Eyes Plus Words, and two of her poems were included in the DVerse Poets Pub Publication ‘Chiaroscuro’ which is available for purchase on amazon.Her poem ‘Until The Light Gets In‘ was accepted and published at The Drabble and her poem ‘Newborn’ was published by Ink Sweat & Tears. She has been lucky enough to write guest posts for sites such as Inky Tavern and Song of The Forlorn and has hosted a number of guest bloggers on her site Writing and Works.

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