Thursday, September 22, 2011



After the first time you were there
you said
"never again."

once again
have made choices
that have led to
 and jail.

As children
we looked like twins
you were
 the male version of me.
I was small.
You were tall.
And even though I was the big sister,
we were the same size
and learned early on
when little old ladies would inquire
"are you twins?"
to nod, because it got us a lot of attention.

In church
we sat together
 and giggled
one look between us
told the other
what one was thinking.
No words were needed.

Last night
I slept
for the first time
since this arrest.

I fear
for you-
 your life.

They beat you  the last time.
Most likely, you've taken a beating again.
Angry fists pounding your face.
Feet kicking your sides.
Guards looking away.
This is what happens.
Lingering bruises that upset those
 who love you and visit.

I do not visit.
I could not then.
And cannot now.
I suppose
if you go to prison
I may have to visit you
That would be difficult.

The article
tells the story
for all to read.
Your picture tears at my heart.
Your eyes cast down.
You are ashamed
 and it shows.
You look as if
 you could cry.
I'm certain
you have.

I feel angry
 and helpless.
I do not want to give
 this situation
my energy
but it is taken
Sleepless nights.
Stomach churning.
Our parents do not sleep, either.
How the pain you have caused has aged them.

Your addiction
has taken
all that you
held dear.
your life
you are a felon, now.
My brother is a felon.

You say
I am your tough love.
I know
 you know
I love you.
But I am
your big sister.
And must not let you
"get away"
with anything.
As much as is within
my power.
Which isn't much.

We are powerless.
We who love you.
We do love you.
You know?
But you are responsible
for you.

When you are in there
this time
as the last
I think of you
I look up
at the sky.
And think how
 I might feel
if my freedom
 was taken
How it might be
to be
 an animal.
It is for your own good.
For your safety.
And others.
I think of you
in that cage.

You were the male version of me
like me
but not.


kpaints said...

What am immensely powerful poem! So sorry you are having this difficult time. It is always so hard when a loved one is in jail...I hope all will turn out well and that he stays clean. Take care.

Karen said...

I am so sorry you have this in your life. Beautifully written, heartbreakingly honest. With luck this might be what it finally takes? ....

Thinking of you -

From the Kitchen said...

Well said! I can tell that this is very hard for you and I hope all turns out better than you expect. I can only imagine the hopeless feeling one has when a loved one is in such a situation.


Kris said...

I am so sorry.

Holly said...

Heartbreaking but so beautifully written. I'm so sorry.

Anonymous said...

I love you!

Brian Miller said...

wow powerful you but not...prayers for him...feel your heart all through this...

ain't for city gals said...

Been there ...done that...I didn't support and wouldn't again. It takes more than the same last name for family...sounds harsh but I have learned to detach. And you want to know something really funny...when he was released he expected a hero's welcome home...Yes, i am bitter for all the pain he caused my parents with nary a look back. I can identify with every word of your story...and didn't realize until now how much anger I still hold...

MamaMonki said...

I'll be praying for you all. Try to stay strong. Wish I had some words of wisdom... but you've probably had your fill of those anyway.

lizbeth said...


^..^Corgidogmama said...

When you are lead by your deep gut emotions your words are always powerful and compelling. Just as much as what you're feeling I'm guessing. You are one of the few who can express your pain and create beauty and power out of it.

Sandy, Sisters of Season said...

Hi Cheryl, I'm so sorry you have to go through this. Life can be so hard with so many challenges. Prayers for your brother and family, Sandy"O)

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