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Excerpt from Rejecting My Family's Inheritance

Here is a featured poem from Rejecting My Family's Inheritance




A friend of the family came

to the family reunion at my

grandmother's house this year,

as she does every year,

named Jack Daniels or Moscato

or Seagram’s Gin and attached

to some of my family member’s hands.

She came as my uncle’s girlfriend,

my grandma’s ex-husband,

and my cousin’s friend from college.

She came dressed in different attire

and she had a different influence

on each family member, she came with,

as she does every year.

With my uncle,

she wore a shiny,

stiff, red cup, and

she danced with him

all night until the hardwood

floor came from under his feet

and made him fall on his butt.

We had to convince him that his

arm was not broken as she

laughed at him so hard, she

fell to the floor right beside him.

She was in a sexy, slim, wine

glass in my grandma’s hand.

She whispered in my grandma’s ear

to persuade her to tell her second husband

she didn’t really love him. He joked

about knowing this whole time, saying,

“I’ll put up wit yo’ crazy ass anyway!”

My cousin brought her half-naked,

hiding her glimmering, glass skin

in a brown paper bag that fit her

loosely like a dress. She convinced him

that he was better than everybody

since he went off to college.

She started a huge fight with

my uncles, who are twins.

She reminded one of them

of the time he got his girlfriend

stolen by the other one. They

threw heavy, drunken fists at each

other until my grandma yelled and

chased them with her stick.

“Get the hell ‘way from my house

wit dat foolishness,” she screamed

to them over and over again.

“How bout ev’rybody get out my house,”

she screamed again at everyone else.

Everybody slowly scurried away

like half-dead roaches to their

cars so they could leave. Our

family friend hid away quietly

in Bud Light bottles, moist wine

glasses that lingered on the kitchen

tables, and introverted red cups

as she looked at the damage she left

after the destruction she caused.

She was satisfied with the outcome

and next year she would bring

the family back together,

as she does every year.


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