Playing favourites is a bit of a shitty game




This is what I was thinking of a bit sadly today

My Dad had favourites

And it wasn’t until the end

That I think he realised





About all of us

Too late perhaps, when you have played favourites

I don’t

Neither does my husband

We only have two sons but we couldn’t lever one higher even if we wanted to

They are just so.

Two by two

Equal in our eyes

Our love

Different in nature

But oh so special in their separate parts

How could this equal better

That not?


You enjoy your children all the more because of their differences

Not in spite of them

Dad had three sons

And he played his games

The first his favourite

The other two

Moving up and down in his good graces

Like the share market

They shifted



Yet to me

All my brothers are amazing men

He had two daughters

My Dad

He tried it with us too

But the thing is

Born so long after everyone else

I never quite belonged anyway


I guess I expected – not to be favoured

Yet it makes me sad

Because I don’t know that he ever saw the specialness

In each of us


In favouring just this or that one

He missed so much

Mum was wise

She knew each of us

Loving equally

It came back to her in large measure

From every quarter

That’s the thing with favour given

It is favour measured

And it leaves a certain arc

The demarcation of which


In the craw


6 thoughts on “Playing favourites is a bit of a shitty game

  1. Yep my father favors his son over his daughter–he lives his life vicariously through him, messes in his life, props him up–couldn’t care less about my writing or teaching, he’s a male chauvanist and women should marry well (not an exaggeration–he literally does not care), and my mother died when I was 39 who would have loved everything I do. In fact, he lets me know that I am stepping out of my place. I have three kids and I cannot imagine loving one more–each relationship is different–but we have NO favorites. I am pretty sure they all know it, too. One is handicapped and that takes a certain amount of attention, the other two are creative and hard working, one maybe slightly less conventional–but no way we have favorites. Sad for children when that happens…

    • I think it can be a little confusing. Dad was a complicated man with a complicated upbringing. I know he loved us all but I think he was guarded and extended himself further in some directions then others. It falls the way it falls.

  2. Jase and I marvel at your poetry, it is truly a gift. You say so much with grace and flow……..
    It’s awesome to watch our children come into themselves. I’ve always told mine that it’s ok if they don’t like me or want a relationship with me, they don’t owe me a thing. Thankfully none of them have taken me up on that!

    • I marvel at the boys all the time. They seem to have this innate sense of who they are that I never had at their age. When we had them I knew they were perfect – my job was simply don’t stuff them up. I tried really hard not to – I do have regrets things I should have done better – in the end they are still awesome. Your kids are all great Mare and so are you.

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