Where it starts

I am ten and I’m wearing a pink shirt
with a dalmatian that covers my entire torso.

I’ve paired this with black tights;
it’s my favorite outfit.

I come downstairs, but skip breakfast-
I’m ready to go.

But she’s not.
She’s sick.

I’m jealous
because she gets to
stay home with mom,
watching tv.

But I return to my room,
drag my stuffed whale off my bed,
the big one,
the one I got on a girl scout trip to Sea World.

It’s her favorite,
and I let her cuddle with it,
even though she’s sick.
And I think this is brave.

She doesn’t seem to care
very much.

Maybe this is where it starts.


I’m thirteen,
and I don’t have any friends
and I’m so lonely.
and I don’t know how she does it.

And there’s
so much anger.

Maybe this is where it starts.


And I’m seventeen
And she’s sick again.
But heart sick
this time.

And I want to know.
I want to help.
But she’s all yelling.
No, not you.

So she goes out with
our church friends instead.

And they cry
to the guy at Starbucks.
They tell me about it later.
Yes, how funny.

And there’s so many tears.
But it seems I just make it worse.
There’s nothing
I can do.

And maybe this is where it starts.


And then we’re old,
married old,
with kids old,
Christmas card correspondence old.

Not taller.
But maybe
Maybe not.

And I don’t know where it starts.


2 thoughts on “Where it starts

  1. Wonderful verbal gallery of life and the coming of age. The first piece seems comic, I remember the times I wanted to be sick and stay home from school, while the latter poems immediately reflect the agonies and wishes of what it means to grow older and bear all that life has to offer.

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