Stop Pretending

I’ve missed National Poetry Month; I don’t feel the same compulsion to read poetry if I don’t have to find a poem I love to post each day. I’m going to try to get back to it a bit more. Maybe I’ll even make it a weekly thing. For today, here is an excerpt from Sonya Sones’ first novel in verse, Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy, which was inspired by her own experiences as a teenager.

My Sister’s Christmas Eve Breakdown

One day
she was my big
sister, so normal and
well-behaved, the next she was a
stranger

rushing
out the door to
Midnight Mass, a wild-eyed
Jewish girl wearing only a
nightgown.

One day
he was my dad,
so calm and quiet and
in control, the next he was a
stranger

dragging
my big sister
away from the door, up
the stairs, screaming so loud that my
ears stung.

One day
she was my mom,
so reliable and good in
a crisis, the next she was a
stranger

standing
stock still with her
hands clamped over her mouth
and her eyes squeezed shut, not even
breathing.

That day
I sank into
the wall, wondering what
these three people were doing in
my house

and I
shouted that they
had to stop, even though
I wasn’t supposed to talk to
strangers.

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