I don't mean to post too much, but I wanted to share this one, written a few months ago, before I lose the nerve. I really am sorry if I am hogging this board.



My Mother
Used me as a verbal dumpster
to squash her
undealt pain.

Trapped in a marriage she did not want
My younger brother an autistic savant
Herself: an untreated raging bipolar
My father: beat-up, caved-in, and rolled-over

And this was the year
they somehow convinced me
that it was all my fault

the screaming and fights
of how much trouble life was
were things that I had brought


My brother and I
day before Christmas
hungry in a house with three tvs

my father at work as a doctor
my mother off, somewhere,
with someone more important than me

How old? i don't know.
probably 12, my brother 10.
we walk the railroad track to wendys.

only a mile or more,
no snow, only a little cold
a short walk for something to eat

I bought my brother
a cheeseburger and coke
And that was all the money

The cashier bought me
a burger herself
I said I wasn't hungry

but I ate it
and left without a word
feeling more sad than happy

returned home
and my parents never knew
and that was christmas eve.


Another walk with my brother
A rare trip to a friends house
Rare because I had no friends
I had almost begun to forget why
But this is it how it ends:

my brother screaming
he won't calm down
thrashing about

I can't calm him down
but I'm sure its my job
the phrase "chemically imbalanced"
means nothing.

We leave and he starts yelling
about how he wishes I were dead,
how I'm to blame that he got so upset.
I want to kick him in the head

THAT my parents would know about
THAT my mother would hear
THAT my brother would tattle tale
But not what I had beared.

If I slap, I would get slapped
If I yell, I get yelled at
If he screams, everyone runs to calm him down
But If I react, I drown.

"You lazy prince,
You indian giver
You selfish jerk
you little sinner

"You need to be nice to your brother
or else you will regret it
God wants you to help him out
and I have JUST ABOUT HAD IT."


My mother is off again
her new project: a battered mother

And I am at his home again
the battered son: my new tormenter.

Six months older, maybe
But from the looks of it, 2 years
I was a small foal of a tween
he was a mitzvah bear.

I will never know what happened in that room
I've spent too long trying to figure it out
that pain and memory and dream and headache
can never parse the doubt

Something bad and secret and SHHHHHHHHH!!!
And "don't upset our moms"
And something about a princess in distress.
and something about locked arms.

The only part of it I was able to tell
was that he stole my toys
and I was told to be the bigger man
and that he was a hurt boy.
I am a veteran of the soul wars.