You Grew Up

My uncle took a swing at him
That flinchy puppy I barely know
Called cousin—something.
He tried to hit him with a golf club
But the puppy ducked and
The club hit the TV instead.
It shattered but the pieces didn’t move
I wonder what would’ve happened
To puppy bones.

You grew up, didn’t you? Since Dad
Took swings
And showed up to family parties
With a white-tooth grin on his face.
We all still love that Uncle
But you’re on the court
Swooping ball through hoop to prove
To prove–

My Auntie chased that
Giggly rabbit around the room…
Caught and dug her fingernails deep into
Cousin—something’s arms.
Dumped her at our house to play
In the mud
And got mad that her frilly socks didn’t
Stay bleach white.

You grew up, didn’t you? Since Mom
Screamed and
Cut your family off like an excess limb.
We all wondered where you went
But you’re on the track
Beads of sweat and braids tied high to prove
To prove—

My Cousin smacked his
Small mouse sibling
Called him names and left him behind
In the wake of his new sports-stardom.
And the mouse
Looked on with
Wide eyes thinking
One day I’ll grow up.



Artwork by Francois Bard, “Antidote”