Kathrin KissElder


Family is a magic circle
an alliance, for decades,
roots, that lead through centuries.
Family, those are many waiting plates on an old table:
Not equal, but in a mysterious way:
resembling each other.

Family, that is,
a special rhythm running through a city,
a special way to hold a glass of wine, or
a little child.

Family, that is shared possession
recipes, professions, furniture is wandering from branch to branch,
towels espresso machines pencils books music instruments stories
diseases flu snuffles maligns:
Sometimes shared suffer, sometimes
only told, fortunately.

Family, those are shared adventures we went through together
and crisis,
gaps over which we are constantly
building bridges again.

Family, those are festivities on long tables,
weird after-dinner speeches, shared drunkenness,
nights in beds that smell of childhood,
relaxed tiredness the morning after:
the cup of coffee, shared after a long time,
cake from yesterday on a crumby table.

Family is related with houses you never
lived in yourself, forests and meadows,
calls that reach you from far away,
a river at night.

Family, that is growing up together
death and life, life and death again and again floating into each other.
Sometimes only a rill, some running dry,
sometimes again many rills, reuniting again:
To a mighty

Submitted: Thursday, June 06, 2013
Edited: Thursday, August 01, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

for my brother, who doesn’t read any poems,
and my brother-in-law, for whom I translated this

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