The Hell Of In-Laws

For Friday Five this week, our dear friend Rob,
Has asked a million-dollar question, or,
I estimate, worth at least thirty bob,
If anybody’s keeping count of score.
And if they are, please email me a chart,
Nothing too fancy. It needn’t be high art.

“Name the five most nightmarish in-laws or
Events involving in-laws you’ve had to burn
Through,” Rob asks, and opens such a door
Into the past, that I feel I must spurn
The very thought of facing the request
For mem’ries cause a sharp pain in my chest.

And so I’ll not comply, but plead the fifth
On grounds that I dare not incriminate
My ass. But lo, I feel a little drift
In my conviction. Perhaps an early date
Was bad grounds for a matrimony, yes,
But that’s all done with. I’ll go on, I guess…

If you don’t wish to know too much of me,
And my forsaken past, my battles fought,
Then please, my friend, skip to the next entry,
And leave my past to be all quite forgot.
If you read on, please mind it’s not my fault,
My feelings, attitude, or merest thought.

I shan’t say names, nor slander them at all,
Not speak ill of the long-gone from my life
For if I do, I’ll face a nasty call
From overseas, from one who was my wife,
Whose voice I wish to hear never again,
And even then would be too soon, again.

But maddened in-laws I have seen, too well
I know the plight of one whose one mistake
Casts him to extended family hell;
For that is life for one who gets no break.
It’s always on, this family thing, you see:
It never switches off. You’re never free.

An older woman, mad as hatters are
When in their hearts old pains and terrors burn
An sense of the world filled up with horror
And sin, and bodies waiting for the worm.
Arrested downtown, wandering with a knife,
Threatening cops… head-shrinkers phoned my wife.

A sister playing counselor quite foul,
Her crooked mind and crooked words she sows
And never once does she throw in the towel.
Possession of her sister, she well knows,
Has been lost. One day tries to kill herself.
Blames the devil for her lost mental health.

(And that death only averted by a call
To 911 in another city, which is
Near impossible to do, you see, at all,
Yelling at operators as the minutes whiz
Past you. And the girl lies on the floor
Pills in belly, behind her bedroom door.)

A brother who was psycho, hit his mom,
Screamed at her regardless of who was there.
A father who was vicious as a bomb,
And delighted in nothing more than in a scare.
Who laughed at us as and simply drove away,
When we told him we planned a wedding day.

Let these tales be be a lesson to you all,
When you marry the bride, her family, one and all
Enter your life. You’d best proceed with care,
Else you will suffer far more than your share
And find your life has turned into all this:
Prime-Time TV… a show you’re rather miss.

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