Poems from My Day (9-27-16)

I am competitive.
Pushed way, way down,
Because it turns me nasty.
I remember playing Monopoly with my sister,
She would talk about her win for days.
But when I would win, and try to act like her,
Crow, tease, smile at your tears,
I’d feel guilty.
It became easier to lose,
So I didn’t become the monster,
That is my sister when she’s better than you.

I don’t know what to do here.
She says she’s leaving her husband,
This Thursday.
She’s going to stay with us in our spare room,
She’s bringing up her extra twin bed.
Not her two kids, only the baby.
I called my mom,
Mom, what’s normal here,
What do I do?
What do I expect?
She says 8.
It takes an average of 8 times before a woman will leave an abusive partner.
These problems I thought of as only for adults are happening to my friends now.

My mother has a really great rule,
It’s the –
No matter what,
You can call me and I’ll come rescue you –
I probably avoided a lot of dangerous situations,
Because I knew it would leave me having to call my mom,
Which isn’t nearly as cool
As having to dodge her.

I saw the way his mom is with him,
And I see the young mother his sister has become,
I see the lack of developed potential.
The struggle for income.
But, really,
They seem happy.
So who am I to judge?

Back home,
The farmers go to school,
Education is important. This is recognized.
You bring that to the farm,
New techniques, a view of the world, information.
But these people,
Don’t care.
Fisherman, Pacific Northwest, or small town,
I don’t know.
But it’s damn frustrating.
What? You don’t need to know how to buy a boat?
You don’t need to learn about coastal patterns,
It wouldn’t be helpful if you could read contracts,
Do basic math, speak what you mean?
I guess not,
All you have to know how to do,
In this community,
Is how to drink yourself to death.

I’ll never not be lonely.
I’m learning there’s different types of lonely.
You can see someone every day,
Talk to them once an hour,
Know they’ll care if you died,
And still feel lonely.
I’m scared of committing to something tangible,
Right now I can hope it’ll improve,
Once I find a person to understand me.

No one tells you how to have adult relationships with your siblings.
Do I call once a week,
Can I still offer advice?
Do we keep it shallow, cute pictures of puppies only,
Or talk about,
What you’re doing with your life?
We’re so far apart now, in distance as well as age.
And I don’t know these people with their brains fully formed.

5 thoughts on “Poems from My Day (9-27-16)

  1. talesbytink

    I only really learnt who my brother was when I was 40 and he was 44. Four years later and now the time it has taken to realise I don’t like him either. And slowly I’m working my way around my family. There are some survivors, because they’re good people and they’ve earned it. It’s not often explored in public parlance that we have the right to choose how we relate to our family, if at all. And that blood is not enough, even if it’s as thick as primordial ooze. I’m really enjoying your introspective poetry at the moment because it’s giving me a fresh set of eyes at my own. Thank you. Sometimes I think ‘ouch’ after reading some, but that’s fine. That’s the place of art sometimes too. Sometimes things need to be savaged.

    1. some bad plankton Post author

      “We have the right to choose how we relate to our family” — I like this. I’m going to think on this.

      Also thank you. You have no idea how much even the slightest bit of encouragement helps.

      1. talesbytink

        I have been in some really bad places in my life and in my mind and emotions because of the circumstances of my family and my choice to leave it and face it … it takes courage to choose your own way and it takes dedication and persistence and a willingness to be gentle with yourself when maybe what you were taught doesn’t look like that at all. It takes such a long time to untangle yourself. Some people along the way gave me small bits of encouragement and it helped me enormously to re-see my life and where I’d come from and to remake it on my own terms. I recognise something of that in you… and I admire you for it.


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