Her by Alison Brunk

“Kelly agrees with me.”
“She said you shouldn’t do it.”
“..Said you’ll regret it.”
“She wouldn’t do something like that.”

Never knew five letters could sting the way they did.
The way they did when used like a double edged sword to juxtapose
my skin.
My clothes.
My talents.
To juxtapose me.

Well, maybe I did know.
Knew the absence of five letters at least.
When the word ‘proud’ hung in the pit of their mouths
like a pendulum, swaying to all the beats I couldn’t hit.

Or was it a metronome?
Keeping track of her classical tone that painted gardens with its magic.
Painted dreams.

Dreams that she would be the one who made them matter.
Made their choices valid and their eyes shine
like they used to
when “Go Your Own Way” was only a midnight dance
and not the family crest.

But her dreams didn’t sound like theirs.
Didn’t resolve in music pages of choral symphonies.

My mother couldn’t find the garden after that.
She was too fixated on the box.
The one that lost its bow;
tied with expensive expectations and pristine parallels.

Because she should always fit in a straight line.
People like straight
They like neat.

As the younger one, I’m too disorderly,
too messy.
Always leaving my pieces everywhere.
Pieces filled with the holes of their absence.
The gaping abyss of their blatant misunderstanding.
Of their fear.
That the older doesn’t fit inside her cage
And the younger doesn’t have one.

But what about the Two?
The two with different stories, each leaving marks from the smudging of their beings
that were written in stone.

They exist together,
Bonded by the differing ties they were told would leave them stretched between gaps
as opposite as day and night.
Classical and folk.
Gardens and forests.

As she is always a garden.
Blooming into different shades of the same delicate peony she’s been
since the start.
The one only I could see after learning the pedestal was a fraud,
robbing her of all the mistakes and imperfections that make her even more lovely.
Even more real.
That make her even more.
More…like me.

With her allegiant love that makes fiction jealous.
With her effervescent light that leads to the only home I’ve ever seen
With her.

What happened to the Two?
They won.
And she always blooms for me.



Alison Brunk
Alison Brunk: As a singer, I always intended to write songs, but it seems my brain is as defiant as my voice, and poetry came out instead. Now, a poem-writer for 6 months, I still don't know the first thing about proper writing etiquette. I do know that I love words. I love finding words to sing about, and put all over my walls (Finch would be proud), and think much too much about. My other favorites include science fiction, floral everything, spicy foods, Jane Austen, and rereading the same books over and over until the humans around me are worried. Most of all, I love any excuse to give my overactive emotions an outlet because they are bursting all the time, just like me. My day job is teaching tiny, sometimes hellish, mostly perfect children. But, I would love to be Elizabeth Bennet when I grow up. Or Iron Man. Either would be fine.



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