The Family Room – Paul Dunell


It’s just 2 steps below the kitchen yet it dominates the space

the table brought from a convent could seat us all

my wife our five children and I

with room for visitors we could always squeeze in more


Each night we would sit at our chosen spot

my wife at the end and me at the tail

or was it the other way round


It’s where our children learnt they had the right

to be listened to and be heard

each one taking turns to tell us of their day

with the raising of the hand and one little spot

everyone got their chance to interrupt


On Friday nights the ‘Nun’s table’ would stretch

to accommodate the extras the ranks would swell

as extended family would join

my wife our five children and I


But Sunday nights just up the road

in the family room at Nana’s

the table there would creep and groan underneath the load

for those nights we so special so noisy so outrageous


The family room would be packed with

Nana a great Aunt a sister two nieces

the boyfriends the girlfriends

three neighbours four friends

my wife our five children and I


A free for all no democracy here

the loudest voice would win

a family room full of fun

of laughter and yes a few tears

the conversations in these two rooms

were the measure of our years.


Copyright Paul Dunell 2013

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