Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

The Family Room. For Mary. - Poem by Michael Shepherd

You put up with it because
as tiresome as it is, and as they can sometimes be,
somewhere there, there's always love.

He may take interest
in something to be repaired
that's mechanical; and
there's cars to wash and clean,
hobby things to sort and tidy.

Some kids are good or disciplined;
but there's never quite the time
in their expanding world
for doing just what you do
for the house..

But in the human heart
there's this locked, dusty room - you haven't dared
to look inside for years - or indeed
since childhood, for some people -
full of junk, of cobwebs,
broken windows, their sashes jammed,
cupboards that won't open, drawers
whose contents stop them opening; even
the birds have stopped their nesting there;
a room of memories that whisper when it's dark

It's the room that's family.
And surprise - the light still works..
A family can sort and dust and wash and clean and tidy it
in less time than they take
to slam the door
yet only you know that it's done, and how it's done.
And you say nothing.

Somewhere, two strangers
smile at one another


Comments about The Family Room. For Mary. by Michael Shepherd

  • (7/26/2006 11:22:00 AM)


    Thank you Michael. Now that you've said I am the ''Mary'' I had to officially thank you. :) Sincerely, mary (Report) Reply

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  • (7/26/2006 9:53:00 AM)


    This is a powerful piece Michael. It flows wonderfully and drags out each line for scrutiny: not found wanting. The language is beautiful without being romantic. I think that the last three verses complete this piece well. (Report) Reply

  • (7/26/2006 8:18:00 AM)


    Michael,
    While there are many ''Mary's'' here I will not assume this is for me.......but, let me say I couldn't fight the goosebumps from creeping upon me while I read this! It's amazing how you've described something so personal to me, that I've never been able to but into words myself. The depth of this is what struck me. It's like you've actually been listening, and you understand. That dark room full of whispers is becoming less and less cluttered with each passing day. I think the way you put this as a personal thing....that much goes on without the family even realizing it, is so 'right on point'. This poem is going to my favorites (and being printed out) ! I don't know how you do it but, you truly are an inspiration and a beautiful soul. Sincerely, Mary
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Poem Edited: Thursday, August 19, 2010


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