At Writer’s Island, we were encouraged to write about celebrations of any form.  This poem is pretty much true, as are a lot of my pieces.  Peace, Amy


It was graduation and we worked SO frickin hard
to get to that platform, even if it meant the ceremony and
a gown and a hat with the woosy little tassel on it

Our night to howl, we ditched the parents pretty quick
after the cake and punch and Aunt Cora pinching my cheek
Gotta catch up with the guys, I told Mom

Dad put his hand on her shoulder, like, it’s okay
Our kid’s a man today, and soon he’ll be in uniform, so
let him have fun with his friends, that’s how it goes

My sister begged me to take her along and I was like, no way
We got a party hidden away at Hilary’s house cause
her folks are away and she said she’s got a surprise

We get there, it’s all beer and sweat and thumpin music
“ATTENTION GRADUATES!” shrieks Hil over the noise
“We got some Farmville goin on for you tonight”

I’m lookin around for a computer and the Facebook screen
If that’s the big surprise, we’re bookin and findin a real party
She’s got a big bowl and some straws and stuff

“Take your pick.” Oh. PHARMville. You know the deal
Everybody raids their parents’ meds and their kid sister’s Ritalin
and Gram’s Oxy she takes for the arthritis in her knees

It all goes in a bowl and you pick out a few and down it
with a beer, or choose Door Number Two, which I did, and Ben
Pills crushed up to make a high/low heroin rush when you snort em

Last party wasn’t so good, I swallowed some caps and threw up a lot
And this is our big night, so Ben and I grab the straws
It burns, then a second later we’re soooooo mellooooow

All I remember is Ben falling asleep on the couch smilin like a dork
I passed out in this state of I don’t know what you call it, but
it felt damn good, like when they put me under for my tonsils

Just woke up and I’m at a funeral, oh shit, did Ben try to drive?
Everybody’s cryin, and I’m in the church balcony lookin down
I’m in my best suit, in the casket. Shit.

© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil