July 5, 2010
By pepper SILVER, Austin, Texas
pepper SILVER, Austin, Texas
7 articles 0 photos 0 comments

My brother's cries sounded
and I remember my interim father walked around the house like
barricading our rooms like prisons or
crime scenes
and Mother, dear Mother at the wreckage
behind the yellow tape,
her cries sounded like
and my stepsiblings, oh they whined
and he still walked around the house like
F*** G******** SHATTER
this family.

Music blaring, feasting on broken cookies like
Last Supper
I leaned my head against the wall and listened to the
honey, the wine, the whines
until it became a symphony that my music could not drown out
A full orchestra.

There, my brother's cries were violins, slow and sweet
My mother's cries were an oboe, steady and deep
The ephemeral brother and sister were a
glockenspiel, gleeful in their woe
He himself was a contrabassoon,
calamitous, threatening, low.

And I, the lone harp
plucked my own strings like so
but he stepped on my pedals because he thought he could
change the key.

The author's comments:
I wrote it at my friend’s house after everyone had gone to sleep, and the original copy is lost in the vortex of her room. This poem describes a very dark time for my family. My mother eloped with this guy and he brought his two kids to live with us immediately, rocking all of our worlds on their respective axes. I needed a way to simplify it, so I used the simile of a symphony in comparison to each member of our household at the time, and I purposefully kept myself separate from the rest. At that time, I felt isolated and like both a child and an adult. This poem shows my observations, but also portrays my total fear and confusion. I got the idea of using a symphony because my mother is very musical and she used to play the oboe (among other instruments) when she was happier.

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