(I wrote this a few years ago...)
I remember when I said I hated my sister and wished she was dead.
At eleven you think you mean such frustrated outpourings of your heart.
One morning I was called into your cold dark room--
the lights were always dim and the air was always damp and cool--
I went in that room a soft age of eleven and left a different person.
Still in pajamas, a little girl, I was handcuffed.
Real, heavy, policeman handcuffs--the good stuff.
I was forced to watch video from the holocaust, hours of it.
Naked bodies heaped onto carts and burned,
silent gray films of real horror.
If I looked down or away for even a moment there would be physical hell to pay.
I remember it was almost Christmas.
I remember so many impacts of leather to skin,
just for a five year old's fibbing.
Not today--wait until the hand prints on your body go away.
I remember when I heard you died.
Yes I cried, but that wasn't sorrow.
It was relief and the unburdening of fear from my weighted down shoulders.
Those tears were nothing but the release of fear--you really weren't coming back this time.
How perfect it was New Years Day.
From that day on, the nightmares went away.
I remember always wanting to love you and to have you love me in return.
I remember not wanting to fear you.
I remember not wanting to tremble in your presence.
I remember that day in junior high, the first week of eighth grade.
No one came to pick me up from school because you were in the hospital.
I just didn't know it yet.
Tried to kill yourself again supposedly and failed once more.
Never did see you again, thank god for that.
I remember calling home that day
because no one was there.
I didn't know why, or where to go.
Grandma picked up the phone and I could hear my sister's screams
as she went in the backyard and saw every piece
of our broken life
you had somewhat symbolically smashed to pieces and left there,
tombstone shards of glass and splinters of wood.
I remember when you were locked away
all the nightmares I had day after day.
You'd come back before
just when I'd think I was safe and you were gone.
I remember suicide attempt number 63.
You stabbed yourself and left it for anyone to see.
Everyone whispered to keep it from us, but we ALL heard.
You weren't trying to hide it anyway.
I remember when you came into our room,
a shell of the scary being we knew you to be.
You said things were going to change.
You blamed mom for everything you could
but said she told you things had to change or else.
Two little girls sat on their bed entranced and trapped
as you relayed the whole suicidal sickness and waited for the perfect moment.
Then when the timing was just right you brought out the knife from behind your back
and told us how you stabbed yourself with it
and lay in your bed waiting to die.
It was days later and you hadn't even washed the dried cakey blood from the blade.
I remember when you said if you were to kill yourself you'd be one of those parents that took the whole family with you.
Then you kept trying to kill yourself...
I remember when you would tell me you were going to put my cat out to play on the freeway.
And then you would laugh.
I remember day after day trying to hide your prescription drugs so you wouldn't take more then you were supposed to.
If you couldn't find where mom had hidden them for the time being you tried every trick in the book to get us to find them for you.
Bribery...flattery...those were the worst because it actually seemed like love, you made me think I would be helping you.
I remember it was actually easier to hear the name calling and the threats that you would put me out on the streets at ten years old if I didn't find your pills...
because at least then it was easy to hate you
and I didn't want you to have what you so wanted.
I remember being scared on so many days that we would be walking in on a dead body when we opened the front door.
I remember when no one could wake you up.
We tried and tried and tried.
I remember falling asleep on the couch--
waking up at one thirty in the morning when the firemen were in the house
waiting for the ambulance to come take you away,
I remember when you would do so much speed that you would
stay awake for days at a time.
You were actually at your best then,
I looked forward to that.
I remember how you really started to go to a horrible place
when you started hitting Jake in the head and face
with the metal part of his leash.
Just because YOU hadn't taken the time to house train him.
I remember once you were gone in the mental hospital
and we couldn't find a place to live.
We were almost in a homeless shelter so we had to give Jake back to the lady who had "rescued" him.
I remember so vividly the call days later...
She had to have him put to sleep because he would attack any man that came near him.
Funny how the only man he was around was you.
He wasn't even a year old.
I remember that night.
I think you knew then, that your whole life had fallen apart.
That night you broke my heart.
I was an adult and you were a child.
I held your hand for hours while you cried and cried.
Finally you just tired out.
I'm sorry your life didn't work out.
I remember so much and yet so little.
it comes in streams and sometimes just trickles.