NaPoWriMo: Day 4 -My Husband’s Cousin

And now for today’s (optional) prompt, inspired by Teicher’s poem “Son“. One thing you might notice about this poem is that it is sad, but that it doesn’t generate that feeling through particularly emotional words. The words are very simple. Another thing you might notice is that it’s a sonnet – not in strict iambic pentameter, but fourteen rhymed, relatively short lines.

Today, we’d like to challenge you to write your own sad poem, but one that, like Teicher’s, achieves sadness through simplicity. Playing with the sonnet form may help you – its very compactness can compel you to be straightforward, using plain, small words.


I used this opportunity to write a poem based on a real-life event. It could be considered as an obituary or a tribute. I never met this person but I’ve known him ever since I knew my husband. In some way, I had been proud to have been acquainted – proud to know he was my husband’s cousin. 

cousin

I hadn’t met him before we wed

My ‘To-be’ husband’s cousin, on his father’s side

‘My brother’s in the Air-Force,’ of him he had said

And I told my parents of him, with the greatest pride

 

He didn’t attend our wedding

I so wished he would

He sent us a message, congratulating

I wanted to tell him it was an honor; if only I could

 

He’d returned, for a family reunion, the last I knew

‘Last month, after a posting in Israel,’ they said

Of those who couldn’t go, we were the unfortunate few

And then one night, we got a call; to say ‘He’s dead.’

 

I never met him -my husband’s cousin; now I never would

I didn’t get to tell him how he’d helped; now I never could

cousin1

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8 comments

  1. I like this. My husband also has a cousin I’ve never met but we’re friends on Facebook and I feel like I know him so I can kind of understand!

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    1. Really! Wow…its so good to know you can relate. I thought people would think it strange we’ve never met. Thank you so much Claire for your comment. I feel better… And do meet him if you possibly can…

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      1. We are in different countries but yes. It’s weird right. I have met his mum (my husband’s aunt) several times, visited her house, stayed with her, she has stayed with us, met the other cousins etc!

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        1. I guess it would sound weird to most but not me. I’ve met his wife and kids and parents too and the other cousins but just never got to meet him. So I totally get it. It is difficult these days with people being located all over the globe. It was nice connecting with you Claire.

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