Family Tree

‘For homework this week,’ Miss Shaw told the class,

You’ll be making a family tree

Talk to your relatives, write it all down

And return it by Monday to me

So Kelly got started with ruler and pens

Recording each adult and child

She rang aunties and uncles to check on the facts

And by Monday the work was compiled.

On a wallpaper roll that was bigger than her

She’d set out each generation

And she’d joined them all up with precision and care

To show marriages, deaths and relations

“My mum’s in a heart above me and my sis

I’ve written my brother in too

My dad and his girlfriend are there at the edge

She’s in pencil because she’s quite new.

Holly, my cousin, is written in pink

With a circle of yellow stars

I’ve got other cousins like Megan and Tom

But Holly’s my favourite by far

I’ve got two real aunties called Jenny and Sue

I’ve written their names out in pen

In pencil are aunties who work with my mum

And people we see now and then

Dad’s brother Micky still visits sometimes

And he helps out when something needs done

I once heard my mum say to her sister Sue

That she probably picked the wrong one.

I’ve tried to connect us with arrows or lines

In the corner I’ve written a key

Except for my guinea-pigs Wiggles and Bob

‘Cos they’re not related to me.

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