I love words and dig poetry slams. I've been writing poetry since I was about 5 years old and my mother tells everyone I was born with a pen in my hand. I am a project manager by profession and reside in Utah with my handsome husband and our two outstanding children. You can read more of my work and follow my poetry adventures here: http://trishhopkinson.com/.
Because I am oldest
I sit in silence,
my hands in my lap, like sleeping kittens,
the cold metal of the unfolded chair
beneath the backs of my knees.
Many rows of mourners
separated me from the casket.
I am brave. I have to be—
I’m older than my brother and sister.
I was the only one who understood,
the only one who had known
I think about her house—
the story of how she still used an outhouse
until right before I was born,
how I used to sit on a quilt
on the long grass, playing Canasta
with the grownups last summer.
I sit in sadness—I know
my baby sister will never
have her own Baby Bonnet quilt
sewn by Granny. I know
I am special, because I do.
People always cry at funerals.
I know why. I know they will miss her
and that she is gone. But I am the oldest—
I am not going to cry. Mommy
asked if I wanted to go up and see
her laying there, look at her
one last time. I don’t want to,
but I don’t want to forget her,
so I did. Standing stiffly at the edge
of the casket, the tears well up
into a lump in my throat I don’t have
the strength to swallow.
-originally published in Me, as a Child Poetry Series. Silver Birch Press. May 2015
©2015 Trish Hopkinson