Familiar, or: Family man

A kerf

"I'd be more useful dead."
"At least they'd get the money."
"Hell, at least I would finally be free."

"Mouths at home would get fed."
"So sad, it's almost funny."
"My children? Nah, they have no need for me."

"Construction doesn't pay."
"Ain't no help for a brother."
"There's only one way out that I can see."

"I'm ne'er home anyway."
"They would still have their mother."
"And... honestly? She'd probably agree."


  • 12 lines made up of 4 tercets;
  • syllabic: 6/7/10 per line;
  • rhymed: rhyme scheme abc abc dec dec.


The above kerf was written for Colleen M. Chesebroโ€™s โ€˜Tanka Tuesdayโ€™ prompt: Poets were prompted to write syllabic poems based on the theme of โ€˜usefulโ€™.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

48 thoughts on “Familiar, or: Family man”

  1. The seperation of life and reality. Death does not always accomplish what the deceased wished – even when there is a will.

  2. That’s a sad story David. We need to make sure we tell those we love how important they are to us. It’s not always obvious, despite what we think. (K)

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