Family Snapshot

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Family Snapshot by Heather L. Kelly.

Made in 2020Artist book / book art. 

Cover: construction paper

Binding: staple

Interior: paper, stickers, photo corners

Content: poem by Heather L. Kelly 


Each letter of the alphabet is a character! This poem describes each character as if looking at a family photograph. 




A is hard of hearing. She’s got a solid build,

balanced, good frame. She’s ambitious;

best on tests, top of the list.


B looks bloated. One minute he’s all zen

doing nothing, the next he’s buzzing around.

Obsessed with body parts.


C is charming and creative.

A constant consonant, cursive curls rolling waves.

C’s been celibate for centuries.


Dapper daredevil, D delights in diving into discussions.

Doesn’t demand, downplays directives.

D enjoys dressing for dinner.


Eloquent E is educated, an MDMA.

Excellent at entries and exits. Reclining, she’s trident. 

The most engaged family member, a connector.


Older brother to E, F has a bad reputation.

Off the cuff, gets into trouble with U. 

You’d think he has feathers, he’s always flashing the bird.


G is astonished.

A gregarious gal, she hosts our get-togethers.

Everyone smiles when they say her name.


H is a PR pro representing hospitals.

Tight with T, S, and C, she can also be shy,

hiding among gherkins and rhinos.


I is the most narcissistic family member,

trying to be first in any sentence. He resents  

that many phrases don’t include him.


J is the joker, jumpy as a bird.

A smoker “for medical purposes,”

a smiley face becomes his hook in text emails.


Logical K, married to O (together a knockout),

she is potassium in disguise, has a dark side.

She’s the black in printer ink.


The twelfth member of the family, L is 50.

Sometimes crosses himself and fills a pound.

You can hear him singing, with A, aloud.

M is missing.

No one likes N. (So negative.)  

O is in the orange outfit. Terrible poet. 

P is pugnacious. Starring in a tongue twister

went to his head.


Q the instigator, the starter, always on time,

a line dance leader, quintessentially questioning. 

And R is a real rogue. Rolls like waves, revs and growls.


S settled in Mississippi and Mississauga.

Her body a stringed instrument,

she isn’t straight. She’s sibling to an ampersand.


T is detail-oriented. Always cross. 

U is a hulking bulk, an undertaker.

More comfortable in the UK than the US,

appearing in armour and harbours.


V is so sexy. Vroom! A voracious Venus.

All soft curves in her cursive,

has been known to stand on a point.   

W is the family matriarch. She is balanced.

A wide woman. Has answers to the 5 basics.

But turn her upside down and

she becomes someone else.


That’s the X.

(This picture is from before the breakup.)


Y always questions things.

A bit of a drinker, she can hold her martinis.

Now she’s jet-set, representing Canadian cities. 


Zed is the hipster. Asymmetrically zippered,

jokes his identity is in a wrist-flick finger snap.

An artist and writer, leads eyes across the page.