Saturday, January 23, 2010

Confessions of an Only Child

Dad and Charlene are getting married today
Everyone is watching us kids, waiting
for the Tick-tock, Tick-tock,
of our emotional time bombs
to stop.

(We would explode into a thousand tiny confetti pieces
that sprinkle the ground where we used to be standing.
Our new aunts and grandfathers could gather our fragments up,
and toss them at the happy wedded couple as they leave.)

But Casey and I just practice our matronly march, up and down the stairs of the house.


I retie the white ribbon around her waist.
I've never been a big sister before.

It's not the new family living at Dad's house.
It's all the people who come with them.
Like my Grandma, I think that is what I'm supposed to call her, who fell in the snow today.
She has mean eyes.

And that Dad lives in Parker, Colorado.
That means I have to punch in eleven numbers to talk to him.
And I only get to see him every other Christmas and summers.
I guess there won't be anymore cheese omelets before school.

Mom sent me to a psychologist.
All I did was draw pictures of me and my new family.
It was hard to figure out where I was supposed to go.

Mom is dating now. Sometimes he stays the night.
He leaves his baseball hat on our couch.
I wake up in the middle of the night scared.
And her door is locked.

When I go visit my dad, his door always opens.
Charlene is the only one who wakes up.
She doesn't know the right way to pat my back,
or the song Mom made up for bedtime.

Now, I just put myself to sleep,
no matter whose bed I'm in.

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