Tag Archives: siblings

Ten Poems (10-02-17)

1:
Why is it that it’s so much easier to be the one liked more?
And once you know you like someone more than they like you, you cling.
I should speak for myself. I cling. I am cling. I am dryer sheet.
I want them to like me.
Maybe I should give up, and never like anyone again.
Or be less fat.

2:
I think the brain that decides it’s going to wear my skin while I’m on my period,
Has very different taste in men than I do.
It says, this one is safe.
Then this thought will appear, it says
I want to rest my legs on theirs.
But when I meet them the next day, I can’t figure out what it is about them
I liked.
And I think I’m the practical monster all over again.
She who only sees people as a means to scarcely allocated resources.

3:
They’re younger than me.
I didn’t think it mattered. I’ve always been on the other side of that.
But I sat at lunch today, in the cafeteriatorium,
They got all the names of all the country stars wrong,
And I was “never minded” by a guy younger than me for not answering immediately.
I wasn’t myself.
Because I can’t be myself at work and still have a job,
More so, though, to me, they’re still college kids,
Taking about how they learned something new that changed their lives,
And wondering why something can’t be said out loud.
I have more important things than that group, and I’m not sure that they do.
It’s like they haven’t hurt anyone yet, and they don’t know how much future hurt they’re already carrying around.

4:
My father is paying my offering money again.
When we were little, he would run down from the pulpit and hand us each a dollar,
Sitting there huddled in the first pew.
To put in the offering plate.
He asks me each week on the phone if I need money.
He sends me a dog-eared twenty and a five brochure folded in an old bulletin.
This week I put my cash in my white envelope, then in the heavy, rust flecked plate,
And it felt like I was sitting in the same pew all over again.
My father taking two seconds out of his important work to rush down the steps, and give his girls money to make sure they were part of the congregation.
Separating us from them and connecting us to others at the same time.
Like he’s always done,
Teach me how other people think,
And how everyone else is wrong.
He’s never been able to see from a smaller perspective, and he misses out on the insights idiots can make.
Which is why he never understood my embarrassment at having to be the one getting money from the dad’s last-minute pocket.

5:
Suddenly there seems to be so much time.
I wonder if, thinking back, we’ll say those were the days when we were young and silly,
Before we settled down. I’m so glad we settled down.
Or if, instead, I’ll think back to a minor thing I said while I wasn’t paying attention,
A relationship version of nicking a parked car with my sideview mirror,
A slipsecond of not paying attention,
That causes us to never speak again.
Maybe I’ll call you up, in twenty years to see how you are,
To see if you got what you wanted.
It’s turning over the next card in blackjack to see if you could have made five-under-twenty-one,
I want to check to see if I made the right decision, even if I can’t change it now.

6:
God, what did he say to me?
Hang on, let me find it.
I don’t ever want you to go. Hopelessly devoted I think I am.

My head processed the annoying grammar before it read the emotion.
I think he’s lying. But he doesn’t know he’s lying.
I don’t think anyone can predict their emotions like that.
But, the happy part of my brain says, what if he’s right?
That’s creepy, says me who learned that my terrible step-father only went on a first date with my mother after waiting outside her building for weeks.
He seems to like me?
Is this a self-confidence issue with myself? Do I not think people are capable of liking me?
I might have heard this before, but maybe those other cases don’t apply to this one.

We’re different social classes, which you don’t think is important, but it is.
But wait, I’m arguing about a different issues, instead of this one.
What is the issue?
I don’t know what to do about him liking me. And this makes it seem like he really does like me. Love me.

But that phrase gives me all the power doesn’t it?
He doesn’t want me to leave.
I like that.
But at the same time, I’m still more comfortable with the boy planning out the dates and taking care of me. It’s work to be the one in control.
I can’t have the power and still expect him to make the decision though? Can I?
Maybe it’ll be more nonsense he’s said with all the other things.
Or maybe he means it. Or maybe he doesn’t know how to say what he really feels?
I can’t know him better than himself though? Can I?

7:
Everyday I have to drive on a fast, crowded, four-lane twisty, hilly road to get to work.
They test teslas cars on that road.
In the left lane, I’ll be passing a gardening truck with hedges sticking out past my dotted line,
I have to take a deep breath to keep my hands steady. The cars coming south are inches from my mirrors around the curve, past the rich, tech-money houses.
The first time I drove it, I said I would smile every time I rode on it.
Now I wish it were a flat line.
I wish a mountain were a flat line.
That’s how much I dread work. I don’t want any more of my attention directed in that direction.

8:
My brain can’t stop telling me all the ways this could go wrong.
Over and over to be rejected by an automated resume-reading machine.
I want a nice job, one I don’t hate.
I should go back to school, be in debt, but happier in the long-run.
But I don’t have anyone to give me recommendation letters, and it’s too late to ask, and I haven’t taken the test, and I’ll have to wait a whole other year.
And I’m wasting another year of my life.
I’m mad at myself for not knowing what it is I want to do, for not taking the time to figure this out when I was younger. I want it to just happen, I want someone to make the decision for me. I don’t want this responsibly.
I paid my car insurance today isn’t that enough?

9:
My mother is coming to visit.
Suddenly I’m fat and slovenly.
My job is bad, and my clothes have holes.
I should have children already, read more, and wear more makeup.
I want her to buy me food, and not judge me.
That would be the perfect mom, wouldn’t it?
But very unlike my mother.

10:
She gets so angry, and I don’t know how to handle it.
It’s the same anger from when we were kids.
I have issues dealing with anger because of her, because of this.
I cower. Instantly. And it pisses me off.
I get yelled at for being angry, and she gets everyone to move out of her way.
She would tell you it’s because she’s great.
And I’m sure she is.
I just want her to go away, so I don’t have to put up a front all the time,
And have all my emotions just so in place.
My feelings don’t go in slots. And sometimes I have to feel them later,
There’s nothing wrong with me.
Don’t mock me for my feelings. I am right to have them. They are right to exist.
The reason this dialogue even exists in my head is because of you.

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Poems from My Day (9-27-16)

1:
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.

2:
I don’t know what to do here.
She says she’s leaving her husband,
Thursday.
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.

3:
My mother has a really great rule,
It’s the –
No matter what,
You can call me and I’ll come rescue you –
Rule.
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.

4:
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?

5:
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.

6:
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.

7:
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.

Poems from My Day (8-23-16)

it’s a day to hide in a corner

1:
I didn’t understand people who bragged,
Until my brother decided to be a doctor.
I’m so proud of him.
I want him to do so well.
Is this how parents feel all the time?
I don’t want him hurt, but I want him smart, and happy.
I feel so bad for my mom. She’s been feeling this for years.

2:
I want to hide under the covers.
Cover me up in a corner.
Don’t make me go outside.
I’m weak today, and vulnerable,
Worse than vulnerable, I’m noodly,
I’m flexible, I’m not me, I’m not strong.
I want a big bear of a man to protect me.
I don’t really care right now if that makes me sexist.

3:
Why didn’t I hug those kids.
I should’ve hugged them, told them I loved them.
I’ve never met kids and wanted to take care of them before, I wanted to take them in and make sure they were okay.
I’ve never felt that before.
But their mom drank herself to death, and they’re going to live with their dad,
You know, which might be good for them,
Stability.
But I really liked them.
Damn.

4:
I was supposed to go to the capital this weekend.
They couldn’t get a plane here,
First the fog, then more weather.
I had all this built up energy ready to fly,
And I’m still on this island.
I won’t get to see my friends again before they leave.
One to Seattle, one who won’t be in my program anymore.
Damn.

5:
I can’t get out of my head today,
The space that says,
You’re doing everything wrong,
You can start that later.
I just want to sit and read to avoid the judgment.
That judgment that never leaves.

6:
There are very few people I like,
Even fewer that I love.
But, I think, for those people that are real friends,
I won’t let them walk off the deep end,
I guess there’s comfort in the power I have but don’t exert.
At least, I like to think there is.

7:
The first time I remember feeling claustrophobic
I was sitting in the crowded middle school cafeteria benches.
I sat on benches like those today,
And all the fear came back.
Funny how that works,
You never really leave your fears behind.

8:
He grew up with a different life than us.
He didn’t get yelled at for spending money.
I don’t know what that’s like.
He always got what he asked for.
He had all that attention.
He played all those sports.
He had all those friends.
He knew he was loved.

9:
She said if she had girls that looked like that
She’d keep them locked up.
I don’t know why this bothers me so much.
I think, first, that, you would keep kids locked up just based on their appearance,
Second that you assume bad things will happen to them,
Third, you think bad things will only, or only happen, to pretty people,
And lastly, that keeping them locked up will do any good.
Maybe there’s more reasons that bothers me, maybe it says more about me than her.

Poems from My Day (7-23-16)

i’m having trouble getting past the it’s okay to make mistakes phase of writing

1:
It’s an old wound,
Annoyingly, still hurting.
But, she knows the name of his roommate,
And what classes he’s taking,
What food they serve at his dorm,
What he’s doing with his money.
She’s planning to pack a first-aid box for him.
They’ve ordered his laptop.
He’ll pay them back.
She’s rearranging her schedule around for his move-in date.
To my heart, the mundane details she knows,
Are quiet proof that she loves him more.
Her time, the thing I always wanted from her,
She gives so freely to the last of her kids.

2:
Sure, there are other people out there being lonely too,
But you can’t have a cup of tea with them
And take apart your day,
Piece by piece and song by song.

3:
If you don’t say what you’re thinking,
Are you still being yourself?
If you stop yourself enough times, do you keep thinking it,
Or have you changed your ways for good?
If I never say the snarky thing I’m thinking,
Do I become the quiet thing I’ve always tried to be?

4:
I remember in college a boy with Justin Bieber hair,
Telling me to stop saying sorry,
I could only say sorry in response.
Really I wanted to say,
I can say whatever the hell I want, to whomever I choose.
But I didn’t have the balls.

5:
Doughy. I feel like a whale.
Like they only look at me because I’m new in such a small town.
And female.
But on the other hand, none of the women here have that beauty complex you see
In the lower 48,
The constant, I’m not thin enough talk, just doesn’t happen up here.

6:
Useless. I’m useless.
These hands do nothing.
This brain, such an expensive brain, sits there on idle.
This body has started decaying,
And I can’t bring myself to care.

Poems from My Day (2/22)

it’s one of the days i wish i was another person

1:
I’m staying at my parent’s house,
Until I leave to go across the width of the country.
I keep grabbing for the dishwasher in the wrong place.
I keep opening the wrong cabinet, because they moved the bread.
I keep behaving the same way I have in the past.
I almost slammed my door yesterday.
It still smells the same in there. I still hate that garage door.

2:
I didn’t know other people would respect your boundaries if you set them.
That wasn’t something I knew.
If I said no, they’d listen?
I should have had more friends so I knew more of what was un-normal.

3:
Dad thinks I can do it.
I can work two jobs,
So I have enough money for food.
Me.
I’m not so sure.
I can’t get my mind made up, which is more nerve-wracking.
I don’t know, I don’t know.

4:
The desks are a little off-green squares.
The wood looks like it would have been fancy when new.
The guy’s baritone whispers in the cubby across from me are distracting.
My ears are sore and red from wearing headphones.
The outlets are brown.
I can see down a whole row of books to the other-side of the second floor.
I worked at the library today.
I ate a donut I bought on recommendation from a woman with a lazy eye.
I’m relearning about cosigns from the tutoring going down three tables away.
I can’t see the church next door anymore,
It’s gone black.

5:
It took me years to realize it wasn’t my fault my mom was bad with money.
It wasn’t my fault she got upset after we went shopping.
I broke down once in Target at the checkout aisle.
She said she was nervous about going shopping with me again.
I was never sure when she was going to be stressed after paying.
I was never sure if I was paying or she was.
She always got tight after we walked out.
And had to justify it out loud while we walked to the car.

6:
I wear new boots to break them in,
Even when I’m sitting in bed,
I punch my legs off to the side.
So they look worn in,
So I won’t look like I’ve bought them new,
Like I had to buy them new.
So I won’t look like I’ve had to spend money,
Like I have money to spend.

7:
I have nothing to say.
I don’t mind.
Welcome back, uncaring.
I forgot how comfortable you are.
It’s so flat and clear here.
We’re good to sit for a while.

8:
I’m ashamed I’m competitive for time with my brother against my sister.
I’m happy they’re spending time together, and she gets to feel important again,
Valuable,
Strong, the one you come to for advice.
I’m worried she’ll do to him what she did to me.
There are parts of her I don’t want him to catch.
I’m glad to feel useless again.
I’m sure they’ll talk about me, which will be good for him to hear.
But I’m still a little hurt, for some reason.
I’m glad they’re bonding over something.
I’m glad I’m going.
More love is always better.
I know.
I’m sad that’s I know she’s feeling triumphant for winning his attention,
When I’m the one who’s there.

Poems from My Day (11-23)

yes it’s eight minute past midnight, but it’s still today to me

1:
I don’t have time for mayo.
I can get mustard on bread fast.
With my piece of cheese and two pieces of watery turkey.
I shove it in the ziplock bag that isn’t ziplock,
The kind you have to fold-over.
I stick it in my purse, because my lunch bag smells from the garlic chicken
Last week.
And I’m embarrassed.
Embarrassed I have to take my lunch.

2:
I have a running list in my head,
Probably mostly forgotten,
Of the things I need to do and remember,
And really not forget,
I try to number them,
And tell myself to remember when I wake up.
These four things.

3:
My roommate hasn’t turned the heat on yet.
I’d like to dream about thoughts, become better, ethical.
But I’m too cold.
I’m sleeping with a scarf on.
I’m going to choke myself to death because I can’t bring myself to turn the heat on.
If I turn it on, maybe she’ll start charging me more for rent.
Then I’ll have to move,
I’ll have to move in the cold.

4:
It must be my fault they leave.
Don’t they know I’d just keep talking?
I push them away on accident.
I want them to fight to stay with me, but
They never do,
Because they’re not sure how I feel,
Because if I show how I feel,
They’ll leave.
And then they’ll know they have the upper-hand too.

5:
He wanted something.
He wanted me to pass on a word for him to the higher-ups,
Who like me, because I’m small.
I thought he was being kind,
Making friends,
Knowing me.
So I passed on his message,
Felt a little sad,
And won’t let him cross over into “people I like” territory.

6:
Out of the three of us, I made the best grades in High School.
They might be smarter, better with sciences, have oozing scores,
But it was me, and only me,
Who got into every school I applied to.
Who didn’t have to take out college loans,
And who’s mother never asked which school would you like to go to,
But took the only option.

7:
Please don’t watch me work.
If you don’t let me goof off for the few seconds I have of my own,
It’ll take longer in the long run.
Please leave me alone.

8:
I don’t want to be a bother.
These people who feel bad for their existence.
Always excusing, never fussing, scared that being loud will make them
Owe someone else.
And that’s the worst. Isn’t it