starts when families renew the year's disagreements
and disappointments to share over Christmas,
leaving something smaller to bicker over for birthdays
and other celebrations throughout the year to come.
Having aired their bad news they will proceed
(quietly at first) to accuse each other
of misunderstanding of their wrongs,
until the enmity falls as freely as the spent bottles
that surround parties of drunks who sit in public parks,
oblivious of anyone who feels disturbed seeing them.
The tipping point comes when outright one person
tries to defend their wrongs as not just their doings,
but a joint effort where they had not the means
to stop themselves from later wrong-footing others,
only for others to say 'You should have had the means,
because of you we can't have this, that, and the other now.
It is your fault that you did not stop. Stop blaming other people.'.
The accusations stop sharply when the one who feels
most horrible for losing their argument turns on the television
to watch a programme they insist should be watched,
which the rest of the family endure in silence.
Some families are better dismantled, root and branch,
and the members kept apart, never to cause each other trouble again.