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Christmas '08 (The Family Portrait)

I saw him out back, practicing smilin' For the family portrait, he didn't want to be in Christmas tree is ragged, as the family dynamic. Sister Ally showed up, put everyone in a panic Cousin Ryan, was never welcome He feared fightin', was the only outcome He sat, hands folded. As insults flew Brain left numbed, by self evident truths Looked up just in time, to dodge the egg nog bowl Looked at Kristen and shook his head, and left to fill the hole Years ago a stiff drink would have done the trick, older now the thought just makes him sick No one hardly saw him leave, out the back door quiet as a thief But thieves is what they were, removing contentment and leaving in its place a longing  If they only knew he thought, but maybe they did and didn't share his attachment to compassion 

Or his appreciation when nothing happened Loud is the only way they knew. You only did this to make up for that! Missing the point, it was all an act. To the deserted streets he took, to the wrong side of town where the holidays were just a cold snap of reality. All he ever wanted was a family