Ugly Floral Couch (Sestina)

Sitting on the family’s ugly floral couch,

Little brother and I dared not fidget.

Knowing doing so would make Dad come more undone.

In situations like this, we found ourselves many times.

It was always best to wait till the old man tired.

This day, however, was worse than all the others.


As a family, we were looked down by others.

I’m sure they could not miss our house’s tension when sitting on our ugly couch.

Living the family lie was very tiring.

I longed for escape and it showed by my tendency to fidget.

To fidget was only one of many of our crimes. We were yelled at all the time.

Our parents, not known by most, were prone to frequently come undone.


Little brother and I came accustomed to living a life undone.

We were well aware we were not like all the others.

But being obedient children, we pretended we were all the time.

If we did not, we knew, we would end up sitting for a long time on the couch.

I don’t believe my parents knew amount of effort we made not to fidget.

These lengthy lectures about how much we were lacking made me so tired.


Even telling my tale now is making me feel incredibly tired.

Now that I am the age of them, way back then, I live in fear of becoming undone.

At least, I’m old enough not to be told to stop fidgeting.

In fact, at this point in my life, I don’t like being told anything by others.

In addition, as God as my witness, I will never own an ugly floral couch.

It appears what I will do and not do is how I spend a lot of my time.


I suppose, I should return to the topic at hand and talk about that time,

when little brother and I were waiting for the old man to tire.

I can not express the extreme distaste I sill have for that couch.

I must continue and reveal how the old man went beyond undone.

It really was worse than all the others.

Excuse me while I fidget.


Talking about that time, I always start to shake. Sorry, I always mask my shakes with fidgets.

As a general rule, I find it best, not to think about that awful time.

His marathon rants were usual. When he got the gun it became worse than the others.

When he said we all were making him do it and put the gun in his mouth…all I felt was tired.

I guess the old man really came undone right then.

All I cared about was going to bed…and getting off that damn couch.


What I am haunted by, is being so evil, that I dared to feel tired,

while my father, with gun in mouth, became more undone than any other time.

Ironically, since then, I spent a lot of time seeking redemption from others while sitting on a ugly couch.

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