I suppose all families are alike in their push
And pull, each of their separate agendas, their
Needs and wants and inabilities to distinguish
Between those two. My family, hers, the captain's.
I've never seen her family together, not since
That congenial visit after the one where my aunt
And I were tossed on the shores of their hospitality
By the carriage accident. Anne played an equal role
In both, though she was only present the second time.
That is just who she is. In my own family, so parched
From our bereavement, there is our aunt, my sister,
And myself--not much to work with. But Elizabeth
Managed to marry into a bit of a menagerie (or so
I can imagine her describing them). The push
And pull of my sister and her husband, her husband
And his mother, his mother and his cousin...
Then you add the children and the whole thing
Is a bit like jungle monkeys taking tea together.
But the captain is the one we all must bow to.
Elizabeth's quick look tells me so. I never thought
To be a part of such a pantomime, but I know
Survival when I see it, so I acquiesce. No raging
Gorilla will upset the fragile teatime my sister
Has managed to finesse for her own safety.