Monday’s Child

Monday is born into a full family.
One Standard Issue Dad™,
One slightly dented, but still good Mum,
Two broken-limbed brothers, and one sullen but loving sister.

Tuesday’s family is halved overnight.
Suddenly a one-child family,
Tuesday’s parents swing the spotlight of their attention to her.
Tuesday shines.

Wednesday’s siblings appear and disappear
With such frequency that Wednesday ceases to notice.
Intermittent familiar strangers,
They materialise and dematerialise seamlessly.

Thursday moves countries.
Uprooted from friends and familiar faces,
And transplanted in a land of ghosts with sinus issues,
Thursday begins to wither.

Friday stands out.
Though she tries to blend in,
There is no hiding her hair, her skin.
Friday makes jokes at her own expense.

Saturday meets a boy; The Boy.
She hides him amongst her treasures,
Keeps him all to herself for as long as she can.
Saturday has other secrets too.

Sunday’s family has grown and diminished,
Grown and diminished.
It has changed size and shape so often
That she no longer remembers where its boundaries lie.


This poem was written for the YeahWrite #480 Fiction|Poetry grid. Click the badge to read other entries.

7 Comments on “Monday’s Child”

  1. Interesting look at family structures. I particularly liked Friday and Saturday. My favorite lines: “swing the spotlight of their attention” and “She hides him amongst her treasures”. At first I thought this was about 7 different families, but then I read the tags and wondered if it was supposed to be one family undergoing many changes. I didn’t really get “Tuesday’s family is halved overnight.” Did the parents divorce, did someone die? I wasn’t sure.

    • Lol Jen, 30 minute poem is gonna 30 minute poem. Thank you for being so kind about it. If I ever come back to revise this, I’ll make it clearer. It’s about one family and the days of the week are the same person at different stages of their family’s/their life.

      Yeah, I can see how the halving family was totally not clear (whaaaaaat! You *can’t* read my mind???).

  2. If this is a 30 minute poem, it’s amazing. I think this is worth revising. I like the loose modeling after the nursery rhyme, and carrying the story through a lifetime. Also, loved the happy ending!

    • Yay! I’m so happy you saw the rhyme. It’s been stuck in my head for the last week (thanks to my children asking what days they were born). It is indeed a 30 minute poem as the grids were closing (lolsob). Now I’m thinking more seriously of actually workshopping this poem… maybe there’s something there.

  3. I found this poem really intriguing (sorry to be commenting so late). You have a lot of really interesting images, and I especially liked “a land of ghosts with sinus issues” (are the ghosts white people?). Standard Issue Dad TM reminds me of “Où t’es, Papa, où t’es”, this French song about a father who is physically present and emotionally unavailable; in the music video the dad is life-sized a plastic doll. Wednesday made me think there’s a big age gap between the older siblings and the person (I guess that’s what happens in Tuesday?).

    • Katie! Thanks for commenting. I’m not familiar with the French song you referenced but I’m googling it. I’ll admit that part of the poem was un homage to one of my favourite Australian poets, Bruce Dawe. I’m really pleased you picked up on the age difference, and that the ghosts were white people (which I hope was reinforced later when Friday stands out because of her hair and skin). I reworked some of this poem recently so it’s a little clearer.

      Monday is born into an economy-sized, value-pack family.
      One Standard Issue Dad™ (plus bonus moustache),
      One slightly dented, but still good Mum,
      Two broken-limbed brothers, and one sullen but loving sister.

      Tuesday’s family, halved overnight
      By siblings departing for boarding school,
      Becomes a one-child family.
      Tuesday shines in the spotlight of her parents’ attention.

      Wednesday’s siblings appear and disappear
      With such frequency that Wednesday ceases to notice.
      Intermittent familiar strangers,
      They materialise and dematerialise seamlessly.

      Thursday moves countries.
      Uprooted from friends and familiar surroundings,
      Transplanted in a land of ghosts,
      Thursday begins to wither.

      Friday stands out at school, at work, in life.
      Though she tries to blend in,
      There is no hiding her hair, her skin.
      Friday makes jokes at her own expense.

      Saturday meets a boy; The Boy.
      She hides him amongst her treasures,
      Keeps him all to herself for as long as she can.
      Saturday has other secrets too.

      Sunday’s family has grown and diminished,
      Grown and diminished.
      It has changed size and shape so often
      That she no longer remembers where its boundaries lie.

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