• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 10

I Never Wanted a Brother

My friend dismissed her siblings
by closing doors in their faces
by refusing to notice the frogs
on the front doorstep and the beetles
in her bedsheets. I would swallow
my uncertainty when asked to gather
Matchbox cars into a hidden heap
to secret them out to the woodpile
where the brothers would see our act
of revenge, the dawn a silent witness
to a sister's petty vengeance.
We flattened flimsy metal with a hammer
from the toolshed, tiny rubber wheels
pressed into uncomfortable angles. She stacked
the compact cars into a mangled tower
both a threat and a promise that no surprise pest
could shake her, that she knew how cruel
a tool could be, how best to make you cry.