Emily’s Poem

As I think of the memories that I can recall

Of you and I when we both were small

 

I remember the times you gave me advice

And helped me out, whatever the price

 

I always wanted to be like you

To say what you say and do what you do

 

And now that we’re older, I feel the same

For who better than you to show me the way?

 

You have kindness and beauty, inside and out,

You’re my most cherished friend, without a doubt

 

Your love for God shines through and through

So there could never be a better sister than you

 

In a few short days, as you walk down the aisle

I’ll be waiting for you with a tear and a smile

 

But don’t think for a moment that this is the end

Because whatever happens, we’ll be sisters and friends

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The Lonely Train

A train rolls by in the middle of the night, and she’s got a song to recite.

I’m tucked in but the blankets are thin and the moon has reached terrible heights.

The apartment shakes and the foundation aches, and the rhythm tries to rock me to sleep.

Then the whistles start blowing and the noise is growing and the wheels are beginning to shriek.

It’s a song that’s too long, a hideous song, and it seems to be stuck on repeat.

I curl up in the bed, cover my head and try to drown out the beat.

 

But what if this train, with her ugly refrain, is just crying out for a friend?

She is lonely at night, not a soul by her side, and she’s got a heart to mend.

At the end of the day, which it is by the way, perhaps she and I are the same.

Pensive and sad, feeling alone and drab, and sometimes we’ve got something to say.

So I’ll be a listening ear as long as she’s here, making her shrieks on the rails.

And I’ll expect in return that someday she will learn to stay up for some of my wails.

Pattern

I’ve said it all before.

The pain, the anguish, and every single cliché emotion a person could feel.

I’ve felt it. And I’ve said it.

It’s a cycle, and you would think it would be easy to identify all the wrong turns and avoid them the next time.

But it feels out of control.

Every. Single. Time.

It’s like being on a merry-go-round that someone else is spinning.

You might want to stop, to get off, but how can you?

You’re not the one in control.

And even if you did get off, the next time you go to a park, you might have forgotten what a rotten time you had and get back on again. Willingly.

And by “you” I suppose I mean “me” here.

How is it that I always seem to manage to maintain the arrogance of someone who has it all figured out, yet inside, if I really think about it, I am just a fool and a coward who will always settle for a portion of what I could have.

I mean, that’s more of a statement than a question.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder how many times I could have had control but refused to take it.

I choose to let people take what they want from me every time.

It’s killing me but I choose it.

Taking it in

When did breathing get so hard.

My lungs expand part way before they catch on something.

I know I’m getting enough air to live, but I don’t feel like it’s enough to live.

It feels like a heavy blanket dragging my chest down every time it tries to rise.

I am gasping for air even though I know it’s right there.

It’s everywhere but inside me.

I can see it on a flower, on a quivering leaf, in a ray of sunlight, in you, in her.

Everywhere but inside me.

The Disappearing Act

The sun is set and I am too aware of my heartbeat.

I close my eyes but I feel like I can still see everything.

Light from the streetlamp reaches through the window shades to nag me about the upcoming day.

I wrap a blanket around my left leg so that my bony knees won’t collide as I drift off.

I see vibrant orange through my lids and wonder how close it is to morning.

I had eight hours left when I set my alarm. Now I only have six.

Restless, I reach toward the bottom of the bed and pull the dreaming cat up to where my face is.

Maybe the rhythm of her slow breathing will lull me to sleep.

She does not appreciate being relocated, and proceeds to let me know by sneaking out of my arms and clamping her teeth onto my hand.

She slinks off the bed and silently makes her way to the door.

It’s dark enough that I can’t see her at the door, but I know she’s there.

I know because I can hear her.

She digs her claws into the bottom of the door and drags them to make a noise that can’t be ignored.

She is trying to make me sorry I disturbed her, and it’s working.

I take in a breath and huff it out before throwing the covers off and following her to the other side of the room.

I feel around for her and pick her up before I open the door.

Why is it that the room is so bright when I close my eyes, but so dark when I’m trying to navigate my way around?

I carry her through the house until we have reached the front door.

With the cat still dangling on my shoulder, I use my hip to push the door in while I unlock it. The door has swollen and sunken this winter, and it is impossible to unlock without pushing it into place first.

The door is open and the cat darts out. I close it behind her, only bothering to twist one of the locks back into place.

I don’t really wonder what she is doing out there and I find my way back to my bed, more alert than before. If that’s possible.

I have a million things to think about, and I try to think about all of them at once.

It’s not very effective.

My mind settles on the topic of what I will wear tomorrow.

I have the dress picked out. It’s new and it has little daisies printed all over it.

I wonder if I will look mature, or look my age, or look sloppy…but at this point, I don’t really have a choice.

That’s what I’m wearing tomorrow.

I hope I have a pair of black tights that don’t have a massive run in them.

I have about twenty pairs of tights, a whole drawer full, but I bet none of them are plain black without a run.

And then my mind goes to the questions. I have read them about ten times, but I’m still not sure I can answer half of them.

I always start thinking about how I would answer one, then my thoughts turn into a daydream where I’ve already got the job.

Really productive.

I close my eyes again and this time I mean it. I pile some blankets on top of my legs to block the light from outside from reaching my eyes.

It’s actually really hot, so I go ahead and turn up the fan that’s on my nightstand.

The fan is soothing, But I’m worried I won’t hear my alarm over the whir of the blades. I turn it down.

It’s so hot.

I fling the blankets off and turn onto my side, shoving my arm under my thin pillow in hopes of supporting the weight of my tired face.

I lay like that for a good long while. It must be getting late. Or getting early.

I turn onto my other side and grab my phone off the table.

4:57. Awesome.

As I set my phone back down, my index finger brushes against a little bump on the table. The rest of my fingers come together to feel it and scoop it up.

A pill, thank God.

An old sleeping pill, I hope.

I throw the chalky little tablet to the back of my throat and swallow it.

Then I wait.

The Paper Sack

A paper bag of all my thoughts,

I keep it by my side.

I can’t let it be blown away

Or lose it, though I’ve tried.

I peek in at them from time to time,

the thoughts inside my sack.

Then shut them in and hold them tight

and try to keep them back.

Living Doll

The bruises on my body remind me where he’s been

Was this my fault; am I to blame? Or is it all on him?

 

I can’t say why I feel this way cause I don’t feel at all

I wept and wept, there’s nothing left,

I’m just a living doll

 

Am I still human? I don’t know…it’s not for me to say

I’ve been picked up and knocked around and put up on display

 

The feelings deep inside me; or, you know, lack thereof

Just serve as a reminder of someone’s lack of love