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Poem: Dear Troubled Neighbor

Besides writing psychological poetry, Mark enjoys exploring a variety of topics from surfing to juicy grandma kisses.


Children of Combative Families

I've lived in many apartments with a wide variety of neighbors. Most have been neighborly, while a few others have been downright scary. One particular couple seemed to fight on a regular basis and, on numerous occasions, the police had to be called. It felt as though a tragedy was brewing. As far as I know, there weren't any injuries, but there were, perhaps, invisible wounds that ran deeper.

As a former family therapist, I had worked with many combative families and tried to convey the importance of handling conflict in a civil way and not with abuse. Children of abusive families tend to perpetuate this behavior as adults. This poem is dedicated to the children who are prisoners of such tumultuous families.

Poem: Dear Troubled Neighbor

I’m writing you this letter
because I live directly below you
and can hear the shaking
of the walls, the stomping
on the floors, and the slamming
of the doors.

As a child of marital conflict,
I walked through those fires
and quakes of family discord.
My parents’ marriage
was much like yours,
leaving a rubble of destruction

I was once the child
who was caught in the middle,
perhaps like your daughter,
pulled in opposite directions,
having to choose a side,
until my childhood split in disrepair.

Neither parent cared enough
to call a truce
or to spare me
from the vicious cycle
of anger’s indignation.

And so, as a child, I sent out
a feeble cry to my parents,
shrouded in troublesome behaviors,
causing self-imposed problems,
hardships too numerous to mention.

Take heed, my neighbor.
It’s not for me
but for your offspring
and your family’s future.

If you want to avoid
more suffering and pain,
deal with your disharmony
in a civil and a more peaceful way
or face a grievous end.

© 2019 Mark Tulin

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