As a kid, I knew I couldn’t turn the tide of Mama’s rage,
but I remember cowering off to the side
& trying to figure if I could lower the pitch & heat of it,
as if I were on the periphery of a fire,
angling to stay safe while hoping to douse it.
My next-younger sister got most of Mama’s
belting,hitting, slapping, & pinching.
We shared a bedroom, an island in the awful,
& when she left home, this sister became famous.