Saturday, April 26, 2008

Family Reunion - Part II

"Are you still drawing?" the old aunt asks.
When I was 12, I drew a picture for you.
I didn't want you to see the ballerina, I wanted you to see me.
I drew it for you because I had to not because I loved you.
My parents made me do it.
It was proof of our happy home.
I hid the dysfunction behind the graphite.
It kept me sane—for a while.

When I gave it to you, I gave you a piece of me.
How can you not see that?
Thirty years later you reduce me to a child with a crayon.
Send me back to an instance I hardly remember.
Since then I have lived a thousand lives,
Yet you reduce me to a story,
about a little girl who cleaned your sink for hours
about a little girl with impossibly straight hair.
Since then I have
been obsessed,
behaved badly,
watched the ones I love suffer,
watched the ones I love die.
Why don't you ask me about that?

But even if you did ask
my crafty lips would make up a story
that was good enough for you to hear.
My wilted dress would twist around my legs
as I squirmed while I lied.
Embarrassed shoes would beg me to run away.
Knocking knees would urge me
to keep anything controversial strictly to myself.

If you asked me
I might let you see a piece of me—a small piece.
Well, to be honest, you wouldn't see anything at all.
I'd provide some New Age bullshit
straight from the self-help pages.
Tell you what you wanted to hear.
At worst it would push you away.
At best it would make you feel less guilty
for being one of the many
who abandoned me in my time of need.

So why wouldn't I tell you even if you asked?
It's all because you greeted me with one simple question,
"Are you still drawing?"

Family Reunion - Part I

Brown Door asks,
"Do you see this group of foolish people,
connected by blood
soothed by a cash bar?
Can you feel the connection
like small bolts of lightening?
Their babbling boasts I'll keep to myself."

Beige Wall answers,
"I can't feel a connection,
over the many mouths talking,
united by stories
confused by plot lines.
I can only listen
to the airing of dirty linens.
Their tattling tales, I'll keep to myself."

White Ceiling confides,
"I hear the connections
inside their stories.
All linked by spirit but
confused with sentiment.
I can feel their anxiety rising.
Their prayers of revelation,
I'll keep to myself."