The Family Tree – A Poem

The idea offamilytreebutton

family is foreign

to me. Growing

up, I had

a family, but

I always felt

like I didn’t

belong. I was

the black sheep

wearing a second

skin, the unknowable

one, bearing myself

to every one,

the odd one

out. I was

alone within my

family. I never

fit in. I

wanted too much,

needed too much.

I loved the

wrong people. They

were not my

family. Since then,

I’ve built a

family of the

heart, friends that

I love like

sisters and brothers,

a family chosen

with the heart

and not by

chance. When I

met my partner,

I knew that

he had a

large family, a

mother and uncles,

aunts and cousins.

I worried over

this, not having

much experience at

fitting in to

a family, being

part of a

tribe. I didn’t have

that within my

roots, so could

I find that

within the leaves?

I approached this

family unit with

some trepidation. How

should I behave?

He looked over

at me and said:

“They’re going to love you as much as I do.”

Over time, I

grew to know

all of them.

They were good

people, kind people.

They proved to

me that families

didn’t have to

be broken or

dysfunctional. They could

be a unit,

be a tribe.

As more time

passed, the branches

on the tree

that rested inside

of me began

to grow new

buds and grow

new growth. As

even more time

passed, I grew

to love them.

Recently, while at

a family gathering,

one of the

uncles looked at

me and said:

“I’m so glad your part of this family.”

The leaves unfurled

completely and flowers

started to bloom.

I was no

longer the black

sheep. I was

one of them.



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