Poetry: “A Happy Family”


The following is a writing submission to Homewood High School’s literary and creative magazine The Menagerie.

Winner of A Silver Key Certificate from the 2023 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

“A Happy Family” by Dayanna Falcones-Quilla

There is a blue oak tree that I used to sing around 

I sang about with mother, father, uncle, and brother

I was two years old and never suffered, life was just great 

The sun shined upon us as we lay with dirty clothes 

that were exposed like fresh coffee stains 

The blue oak tree was thirty years old absolutely no pain

The blue oak tree acted as if it had a brain 

The blue oak tree stood on the bladed grass yet as smooth like green clovers

The blue oak tree has seen many like me 

A happy family was always seen 

The blue oak tree spoke to me 

He told me it wouldn’t last 

This perfect family would be in the past

My father will not treat my mom with gallantry 

My father will leave on a plane and start over again 

what blasphemy  

I told the blue oak tree it wouldn’t be 

I screamed and cried but no one was there to see

Mother called out for me and said it was all a dream

Little did I know it would seem like the end

As the years went on I learned I was the middle family 

My father had three

His first were older, his last are younger 

The middle family was in hunger 

Hunger that bothered just a tiny bit 

Yearning love from father 

“Don’t blunder fathers name” 

He would only blame you 

He chose a family that would be his forever 

He had a son that looked like my little brother

With a small ovular nose and sun kissed skin

And a daughter that had black charcoal hair

And the deepest brown forest eyes that I glared 

And a bitch he calls his wife 

that had eyes that looked like poop 

and skin that had touched the wet dirt 

The blue oak tree was right 

You will never be a happy family

I sit by the blue oak tree and look at the flimsy dusted picture 

I stare for a while like how the earth will look toward the bright sun 

I think of what could have been 

A happy family