by Shannon Phillips
When I was 15 and
the optometrist asked, Is that
your brother in the waiting room?
I might’ve cringed or
rolled my eyes.
I didn’t know them all.
The ones I knew
knew how to do practical things:
drive a stick shift, hoe a garden,
throw a punch.
The youngest I know of
was younger than my youngest sister;
she looked like his first love,
a woman whose windshield my mom
took a crowbar to.
We became estranged, my mom
and her untreated bipolarity and
I, except for a lone phone call
when I tried for normal,
telling her about my new
boyfriend, and all she could
say was, Is your dad seeing anyone?
* * * * *
Shannon Phillips is a freelance copyeditor. Bedroom Poems (Small Fish Big Pond) is her most recent book. She is also the editor for Picture Show Press.