A Sensitive Family

Betty and Eugene met on a blind date.
Because although Eugene had an impressive set of eleven eyes,
They were merely decorative, cosmetic.
Without sight, Eugene depended on his other senses—
With his enormous hands guiding him most of all.
He was nervous about roller-skating on a first date,
But in the moment that Betty took his finger to skate across the floor,
He felt excited and safe and knew that he wanted to hold that hand forever.

Betty was immediately tuned in as well.
The second she heard Eugene’s sweet, soft, soprano voice,
She knew that this was the monster she was meant to marry.
Betty had always hoped she’d meet a tall, kind, euphonious monster
With whom she could share her life.
She had also dreamt of being a concert violinist.
Her discerning pitch-perfect ears helped both of these dreams come true.

After a mere three months of being married, Sharlene was spawned.
Sad-eyed, sluggish, and especially snotty,
Sharlene struggled to find her place with the monsters around her.
She seemed pretty unexceptional until her tenth birthday,
When she stopped the party to announce that something was burning.
In her Uncle Max’s house.
Six states away.
And so Sharlene was always your go-to-monster
If you were wondering what was for dinner
Or if the house had a carbon monoxide leak.

Buck tumbled out shortly after and,
In complete contrast to his father,
He arrived with one large green eye
That could see for hundreds of miles in all directions.
As a larva, Buck would gaze at the world in wonder,
Seeing so far and so many things at once.
When his mother thumbed through National Geographic magazines,
Looking at photo-essays on Egypt,
Buck would simply face the south-east
And squint into the distance to see the Sphinx.
He was particularly useful on road trips –
Detecting traffic ahead and proposing more scenic routes.

Grandpa Gerald completed the sensorial pentagon
When he moved in after his wife of 7000 years passed away.
His nostrils flared large, but it was his delectable tongue that dominated his world.
A gourmet at heart, Gerald transformed the family’s eating habits–
From boxed mac and cheese to brussel sprouts á la mode,
From hamburger helper to braised warthog with fennel,
From ‘P B and J’ to ‘D G and B’ (Dandelion Greens and Boogers.)

They weren’t always the easiest housemates.
Eugene was always knocking over vases and lamps with his giant hands.
Sharlene and Buck were friends one minute, arch-enemies the next.
Grandpa Gerald destroyed the kitchen on a regular basis.
And Betty struggled to get the whole bunch out the house each morning.

But they were a family.

And so, on monster family portrait day,
They looked into the camera,
Smiled at the horrified Olan Mills photographer,
And took a moment to appreciate each other.

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