Thursday, 28 June 2012


This prompt is about the others in the romance couple’s lives during the break-up. Inlaws, best friends, siblings and other immediate family – including the kids – the parents.  Anyone who has connected with the couple and is expected to choose sideswhen the relationship ends.  What we want to see is how “the others” feel or is changed by the ending relationship, and what they see as the strengths/weaknesses of the couple.  We want to live the romance through a second party. (This is also not a love triangle.)
Up to 400 words of prose/poetry in response to this prompt.


Selfish Words

She was just 13 years old
When he came home for the last time
Packed his bags and left them all alone
He said, ‘it’s not your fault’ in his deep tone

I still love you,’ he said with tears in his eyes
So that turned out to be a load of lies
Her friends didn't understand
She stayed because her mum was not in command

The father she adored
Walked out of the door
He didn't glance back once
He ran to gain his distance

As she tried to help she became the adult, their rock
She held it altogether despite the deep felt shock
Her brother wandered through the house oblivious
A couple of years older he became almost lawless

They muddled through the first few days somehow
Maybe he would come back tomorrow
Family life turned upside down with no routine
In limbo, bereft, betwixt and between

Emotions running high she couldn’t solve the problem
Her family was now a statistic, a threesome
They spent their evenings in separate rooms feeling angry
Blaming each other, finding fault, feeling guilty

Her friends said we’re here for you
Come to the disco we’ll find you a boy
You’re young; we’ll help you have fun
Don’t worry about your mum.

She talked to her dad and spent the weekend
The other woman tried to be her friend
It was just so hard to be two-faced
Trying to win him back she swallowed her distaste

To maintain the relationship
She pretended and feigned a kinship
Separating her life into two parts became the norm
She did her duty by each parent, she did conform

Then she rebelled, cut class and school
  She turned Goth and looked very cool
Attracted the wrong sort of bloke
She felt he was her only hope

Dark haired with deep brown eyes
So different to the father who lies
She was 16 and knew she was right
She left and stayed with him that night

She had so much love she wanted to give
She thought it might help her to forgive
Her decision was made, it didn’t take long
Nine months later along came her newborn son

It wasn’t easy this life she chose
She had ups and downs, highs and lows
She won’t waste the emotion
Or feel empty of compassion
Some things can't be recovered
Accepting now, she looks forward.

Word count: 402 (including title)


  1. I love how this poem told a story! It was brilliant! A father walks out on his daughter and she's left to pick up the pieces.. she's forced to grow up with this heaviness weighing her down and she stops caring.. turns gothic (nice touch by the way as many teens can relate to that including me)and as a result of her carelessness, her whole world is changed by the birth of her son,(another nice touch)and then she regains her perspective on life.. EXCELLENT!!

    1. Also, I think it spreads the message that there is hope and a ray of light at the end of the tunnel.. and every one knows that the only way out is through! I love this!

  2. So painfully described and yet so true to many lives

  3. Sometimes when the life that springs from you looks you trustingly in the eyes, you just know you have to be a hero for your child. Your life is over. OUR life has just begun. Great poem, Roland

  4. Hi,

    Very touching prose. It so perfectly encapsulates sense of separation and the devastating effect family break-ups have on that of teenagers. Wonderful piece.


  5. Quite bittersweet, the opening stanza is my favourite.

  6. Sally, this is brilliant. So jam packed with emotion. I love how we can't hate the dad - 'he had tears in his eyes'. Also love how the mother's pain is implicit, rather than explicit, and the 'other woman' is not given prominence. I feel this young girl's pain and the outcome seemed predictable.

    You, unlike me, have adhered to the guidelines well and with great power. Thanks for posting this great entry for us to read and enjoy. I'm off to tweet it now.


  7. bittersweet indeed!... getting stronger and moving on with life!....thank you for sharing this to us :)


  8. Sally, you're breaking my social worker heart with this theme. So tragic; but so typical. This was a beautifully written, emotive excerpt. I'm nearly speechless at how well developed your characters and story line is.

    Thank you for participating in this weeks RFW challenge Sally.


  9. I agree with Donna. This is moving and unfortunately realistic. The characters have a life of their own. Well done and welcome to RFW, Sally.

  10. This is the tragic story of so many teens --well told and realistic. This is a truly "stuck in the middle" situation that so many of us experience.

  11. Wow! That was painful. I'm off to hug my daughters right now!

  12. Hello.
    I agree with the others. This is bittersweet and yes, an all too painful reality for some. Nicely expressed.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn...

  13. Hi Sally,

    'Indeed true to many lives. Effective use of the prompt. Your tone and presentation tone suits the subject matter. I think many people would relate or know someone who has experienced this.

  14. Sally, I like this very much. Your female in this poem was 'stuck in the middle' in so many ways. Made wrong choices, but there's a hopeful note at the end.