One morning, in social study class, the teacher explained the term, “Dysfunctional families.” Marshall sat up in his desk. That description fit his family perfectly. All the hype through the years about happy families at Thanksgiving and Christmas left him empty, sad. Those two holidays were even worse for his family, and he dreaded them to heart sickness. He knew exactly what would happen. His dad would drink even more. More than once, his dad brought drinking buddies home for “thanksgiving dinner.” This “thanksgiving” dinner was a “usual” meal, with the exception that his mom said a prayer. Why? What did she or any of the family have to be thankful for? How could his mom be thankful for such confusion, and yelling and screaming? How could anyone thank a God who allowed such misery? When he was younger, Marshall had to stay at home for the long nights of discontent on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now that he was older, he could grab his coat and hit the streets. It was cold out, and his jacket was thin. However, it was quiet in the downtown park.

By wmack99, November 2, 2016.

An abstract sculpture of bones, donned with brown skin. He was inferior, he was deemed under. He was but a drizzle of the wrong paint, which ruined the vast canvas of the world, transforming pastel and bright dyes into a cool grey.
His father was young and broken, mended with the cheapest quality of cellotape, left half-stuck by the ever-coming, ever-leaving women, women whose eyes glowered , stashing their secrets in the hook of their garter belts. His father, though, would look upon him with a shadow of a faint smile, and a flame in his eyes, like sunlight shining through Dom's whiskey.
His sister, pretty and wholesome, cracking like a porcelain doll, would purchase cassettes and bury them in the deep creases of her mother's dress. Her hair, splayed with black, mirrored his forlorn face as he looked upon it. Her, as she twirled daintily to the fortes of rock and mimicked the sax at the zenith of a blues tune. She described herself to be rain,frequent and limited, vital and ignored. She would be like raindrops on the dry verandah, crackling like an old radio coming to life.
He would hold her honeyed hand, and walk through the lanes of the favela, and the asphalt streets of Providence, to protect her. He would tower over the lust of weathered men, who've done their time, the cry of the desperate, the acts of the criminals.
Nonetheless, she would return to her father, holding his dark hand, promising a tomorrow. He would watch from behind drapes and sigh.He would play tunes on a kitchen knife, a true actor in melancholic comedy. He was made of forged steel, but steel, after all, attracts. He was a mere magnet, he enticed all, he was enticed by all. He was ruined by all.

By brokencrown, February 16, 2017*.