From the archives – On What Might Be Any Day — Amy C. Billone

On What Might Be Any Day

I sit in garbage, my bedroom door cracked
ajar by a jump rope tied to a bear
so he’ll drop on top of my small sister,
my floor unseen beneath books, knights, toy logs,
dolls, castles, winged horses, crumpled sheets
of paper. I’m supposed to be cleaning.
Instead I draw pictures of Demon Dad,
Monster Mom, and Nincompoop Nina, all
chastised by Super Benjy, my giant
orange cat who flies in a cape. Dad bursts
in. He shouts Someday the mess in your room
will enter your mind! He hurls the bear at me.
In early evening the room is not clean.
I write a poem for Mom. I say red suns
are goddesses spilling their makeup. I
want her to love me the way she does her
handsome students. My Dad calls them princes.
I hear her laughing with Dylan. He reads
out loud his poem about thighs. I’d give
anything to turn into a boy.
Enraged, my father stomps in the hall.
When my sister opens the door and cries
because of the dropped bear, Dad throws my ink
away. I climb into bed, crawl beneath
my blue blanket full of comets and dive
into the Secret Hole. I am king there.
Nina can’t go or she will fall through space
forever. This makes her sad. I always
leave behind a statue who looks like me.
Some are creatures that attack her, except
tonight she teaches a kind one to walk
and speak. It must come to dinner since I’m
not home. It doesn’t know the way to use
a fork, spoon or knife. It attaches tubes
of macaroni to its fingers, leans
sideways, sighs, rolls its eyes, sticks out its teeth.
My sister slides in and out of her seat.
She gestures wildly, waves both her arms, lifts
her plate and without silverware she eats
so as to protect me but Mom and Dad
take her food from her and this makes me glad.

by Amy C. Billone

from Autumn Sky Poetry Number 21, April 2011

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim