Mary Nagy

Rookie (11-08-1970)

Family Picture?

What is a family picture?
Is it all for real?
Are the people that you see
pretending they don't feel?

Can you see their anger?
Can you smell their fear?
Do you sense unhappiness
in the picture that's so clear?

We're trying to be perfect,
to look a certain way.
A family picture says so much
when there's nothing nice to say.

You plaster on the fake smile.
You put your arms 'just so'.
You show the world your family
without letting your family show.

Submitted: Monday, March 07, 2005
Edited: Friday, January 05, 2007

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Comments about this poem (Family Picture? by Mary Nagy )

  • Rookie Brian Dorn (6/7/2006 10:13:00 AM)

    Mary, we get the picture... a BRILLIANT ending! !
    Brian (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Joseph Daly (11/11/2005 11:23:00 AM)


    I have only just come across this piece of your works. I used a similar title for one of mine. I think families can be very restrictive. They are the preperation ground for life but they are also a form of sub societies, if you get my drift. This is the best of your family works, I think as it says so much about how families are almost a microcosm of the larger world.

    There is almost a perversion of society at large, within the family. Its own rules; the difference between siblings, etc.

    These are important issues. I sense a certain disillusionment within this particular work as if there was something that you wanted and once you got it you found that it was not what you thought. It is a common enough experience but put in the context of the familily then I think we are almost within forbidden territory. A brave piece, nonetheless.

    I am not entirely comfortable with your style, perhaps because you are too forthright. That is not to say that I do not place a value on your work, I most certainly do. Perhaps we do need poets who are 'in your face' and direct.

    I look forward to reading more of your work.

    All the best,

    Denis Joe (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Tears In Rain (8/29/2005 7:17:00 PM)

    Your right about this Image Preservation that has been practiced through the ages, but isn't it nice to have those portraits? Keeps you remembering... Keeps you guessing. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie James Mills (5/18/2005 5:51:00 AM)

    Insightful poem, Mary. I love the last two lines; clever and true.

    Jimmy (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points A. B. (5/11/2005 1:20:00 AM)

    This is so right. It perfectly describes how things are in this world we are living in.

    Arsiema Berhane (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Seán O' Muiriosa (3/18/2005 4:16:00 PM)

    Wow, this poem is so true, couldn't have said it better.
    Warm regards, John (Report) Reply

  • Rookie David Gerardino (3/8/2005 11:47:00 PM)

    my mom tought me 2 things, dont open pandora box, and pretend that life is great. (Report) Reply

Read all 7 comments »

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