Family Portrait

Brother is checked in
at the lodge where
the door is always open
but locks behind you, tucking
the life he leaves behind
into an assigned locker.

Father is in a faraway land
hooked to a monitor and
sucking on emergency
chocolate, searching
for his kitten, who watches
him through the window.

Sister is having babies
to put between her
and the bottle of pills,
drifting sideways through
life like a rabid dog, wild
and ready to bite those
who dare to come close.

Mother is long gone
and golden, nothing bothers her
anymore, waving blithely at us
from across the River Jordan.
Just as it should be.

And I have taken
to jumping off the garden wall
in dark masks and miles of tulle,
a timeworn street mime giving
silent instructions to my children
to remind myself that I am
still among the living.

Claire Juno, © 2016

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