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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Threat (Denise Duhamel)

my mother pushed my sister out of the apartment door with
an empty suitcase because she kept threatening to run away
my sister was sick of me getting the best of everything the
bathrobe with the pink stripes instead of the red the soft
middle piece of bread while she got the crust I was sick with
asthma and she thought this made me a favorite

I wanted to be like the girl in the made-for-tv movie Maybe
I'll Come Home in the Spring which was supposed to make you
not want to run away but it looked pretty fun especially
all of the agony it put your parents through and the girl was
in California or someplace warm with a boyfriend and they
always found good food in the dumpsters at least they could
eat pizza and candy and not meat loaf the runaway actress
was Sally Field or at least someone who looked like Sally Field
as a teenager the Flying Nun propelled by the huge wings
on the sides of her wimple Arnold the Pig getting drafted
in Green Acres my understanding then of Vietnam I read
Go Ask Alice and The Peter Pan Bag books that were designed
to keep a young girl home but there were the sex scenes and
if anything this made me want to cut my hair with scissors
in front of the mirror while I was high on marijuana but I
couldn't inhale because of my lungs my sister was the one
to pass out behind the church for both of us rum and angel dust

and that's how it was my sister standing at the top of all
those stairs that lead up to the apartment and she pushed down
the empty suitcase that banged the banister and wall as it tumbled
and I was crying on the other side of the door because I was sure
it was my sister who fell all ketchup blood and stuck out bones
my mother wouldn't let me open the door to let my sister
back in I don't know if she knew it was just the suitcase or not
she was cold rubbing her sleeves a mug of coffee in her hand
and I had to decide she said I had to decide right then

1 comment:

Tess said...

Disclaimer: for the EXACT lineation of this poem you'll need to go to, or whichever other publications this poem is in, because this program won't let me be exact. I love this poem, though, and am sorry to mangle it.