Notes: This poem was written to complement the photo above. Family is a pretty widely defined term for me and this particular ‘family portrait’ focuses on the two cousins on my mom’s side and my sister. The poem itself is composed of rhyming couplets with each one of us pictured being the focus of a stanza.



From left


He was fresh off the training wheels, tottering behind

A smirk across his mouth, first place in his mind

Young and reckless, quickest of the herd

A year or two behind, but losing, absurd

Velcro straps and cargos, the Old Navy steals

Can’t work the gears, and brakes with his heels


The summer allergies, his red eyes were puffy

Yet still grinning on the hand-me-down Huffy

No worries of competition, a bike ride has no winners

Big brothers can’t lose, already dreaming about pasta dinner

The tie-dye shirt, a carnival prize

Talked his way out of the knee pads, they weren’t the right size


New purple Schwinn, her first real bike

Blue embroidered flowers, lavender tee, so ladylike

Grew up with three brothers, knew how to fight

Resting beside the pedals, feet that could kick with true might

Bearing the heat envisioning the future with a juice box

The ultimate reward packed in mom’s portable icebox


Leader of the herd, or so he presumed

Chubby arms and cheeks, a result of the calories he’d consumed

Had the map memorized, in hopes he could ride up front

But always stuck in the middle, discontented grunts

The Razor skate protector to keep the mop-top in check

Helmet head would be a colossal train wreck
To right

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