Today's poem is by Esther Lee

The Real World is Like This:

My sister's bed's a bird's nest, all edges,
construction paper. She keeps adding
what she coaxes father to give up
before the police arrive: food stamps, silver
parts of a handgun. If she doesn't stop, her nest-bed will
soon be too wide to fit through
any doorframe. let alone down the hallway.
Our mother turned hummingbird (predictable
as it is), her blurred form and curled feet
hidden in the closet. Along the way my sister
and I misplace our mother's bird-throat and mistake
her silence for fatigue.

To make noise I wear
tap shoes, to school, click-click
over ice and tile and with each click, my sister grows
away from me. I stare down at my silver shoes,
toward what my mouth can't afford.
My sister. on the other hand, looks up
at the stretched net overhead. She figures
an escape. Through that empty patch, she tells me,
pointing at the tiniest square of sky.

Copyright © 2011 Esther Lee All rights reserved
from Spit
Elixir Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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