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medical school Poetry university

Shifting Family Dynamics at University

A poem written after seeing my family for the first time since moving to university.

I wrote the below poem after seeing my family for the first time after moving to university. It was a strange experience because I suddenly felt like a visitor in their lives. It was something out of the ordinary for them to see me. It reminded me of when we used to meet up with family members for a meal after not seeing them for a while. I did not belong to their ‘unit’ anymore. Maybe it was the fact that I just met them for lunch and a walk; maybe it will be different when I go and stay at home, but it felt so strange. I felt like I was a dead person, looking on at my old life before I moved to uni – except I wasn’t there. It was almost like a feeling of grief because it dawned on me that things would never go back to the way they were before I moved out.

I tried to personify my house in this poem because I guess growing up we assume that our house will be our home forever. And it feels like a living breathing thing full of life (or at least it does to me). There’s a strong rhyme scheme to that section too because it reflects familiarity. I wanted to repeat the phrase ‘life goes on’ because despite the fact it’s a scary concept – life does go on whether I’m there or not. I think I have a lot of insecurity about whether my family miss me, prefer things without me etc. However, I think I’ve just got to realise that this is a time of change. Things are different and not the same but, that doesn’t mean they’re not good. One period of time does not compare to the other because it’s different. Life moves on.

Grief buried in my bones,

Bones of the body that is my home.

My own –

My only permanent home.

Pulling the new experiences,

Deep into my skin,

Letting sadness evaporate

and dissipate at dawn

The old me looks on

(From the outside)

At those four walls

With their glowing white front

And their brick back

With the trees round the side

And the blinds it lacked

With its warm red walls

And uncarpeted floors

With it’s four toilets

And heavy wooden doors

The old me looks on

From the outside

Because life goes on

Missing one

I’m not there,

But i’m very aware

That life goes on

Missing one.

I wonder if they like it,

Without me there?

Whether they miss me,

Or even care?

Shifting dynamics

A time of changes

Building a new life

with a bunch of strangers

Finty Royle

2 replies on “Shifting Family Dynamics at University”

Interesting perspective – it never even occurred to me that life went on without me at home when I went to university

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