National Poetry Month Day 25: Sonya Sones

In honor of another poet I met at the LA Times Festival of Books, here is an excerpt from Sonya Sone’s Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy, a novel in verse:

One day
she was my 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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