April 17, 2017
comedy, cure, daughter, Diagnosis, doctor, family, fitting in, friend, humor, incurable, mother, poem, poetry, see, Sharon Olds, sight, talk
By the time I was six months old, she knew something
was wrong with me. I got looks on my face
she had not seen on any child
in the family, or the extended family,
or the neighborhood. My mother took me in
to the pediatrician with the kind hands,
a doctor with a name like a suit size for a wheel:
Hub Long. My mom did not tell him
what she thought in truth, that I was Possessed.
It was just these strange looks on my face—
he held me, and conversed with me,
chatting as one does with a baby, and my mother
said, She’s doing it now! Look!
She’s doing it now! and the doctor said,
What your daughter has
is called a sense
of humor. Ohhh, she said, and took me
back to the house where that sense would be tested
and found to be incurable.
“Diagnosis” by Sharon Olds, from One Secret Thing. © Random House, Inc., 2009.
December 2, 2016
Dissociative Identity Disorder, poet, poetry
anger, attic, birth, death, father, grief, lock, mother, public, rage, slap, Stanley Kunitz, suicide, The Portrait
My mother never forgave my father
for killing himself,
especially at such an awkward time
and in a public park,
when I was waiting to be born.
She locked his name
in her deepest cabinet
and would not let him out,
though I could hear him thumping.
When I came down from the attic
with the pastel portrait in my hand
of a long-lipped stranger
with a brave moustache
and deep brown level eyes,
she ripped it into shred
without a single word
and slapped me hard.
In my sixty-fourth year
I can feel my cheek
December 14, 2015
breast cancer, Cancer, caretaker, chemo, Dooshima's Story, illness, mother, radiation, room 313, Sheila Ojei, Wana Udobang
Room 313 is an experimental series created by Wana Udobang about people who have experienced trauma undergoing therapy. The show tells their stories through vignettes. Episode 3 is Dooshima’s Story. Dooshima is played by poet and actor Sheila Ojei.
November 15, 2015
anger, death, family, feelings, hate, home, husband, judgement, laugh, memory, poet, poetry, rage, self awareness, understanding, upbringing, wisdom
carcasses, dark, divorce, father, grin, hate, job, loss, mother, poetry, Sharon Olds, victims
When Mother divorced you, we were glad. She took it and
took it in silence, all those years and then
kicked you out, suddenly, and her
kids loved it. Then you were fired, and we
grinned inside, the way people grinned when
Nixon’s helicopter lifted off the South
Lawn for the last time. We were tickled
to think of your office taken away,
your secretaries taken away,
your lunches with three double bourbons,
your pencils, your reams of paper. Would they take your
suits back, too, those dark
carcasses hung in your closet, and the black
noses of your shoes with their large pores?
She had taught us to take it, to hate you and take it
until we pricked with her for your
annihilation, Father. Now I
pass the bums in doorways, the white
slugs of their bodies gleaming through slits in their
suits of compressed silt, the stained
flippers of their hands, the underwater
fire of their eyes, ships gone down with the
lanterns lit, and I wonder who took it and
took it from them in silence until they had
given it all away and had nothing
left but this.