Rubbing her thumb across her bicep… up and down and up and down

Thinking of life before, what life even was⁠—

What was a life if it meant nothing?


Picking and biting the skin from her thumbs, loading herself up into the car

Brand new, less than a year old

Leftover new car smell making her sick to her stomach

Or was it the situation?


Four hours of agonizing highways, the car silent

None dared to speak, this moment was too fragile


Walking up to an office, begging mom to braid her hair

Whenever they were in a different city, mom’s hands were always dry

Sweat wouldn’t stick to the strands and cause sloppy pain

Braids were a special treat


Three hours later, stuffed in a common room amongst twenty other girls







Thirty days of work

20 minutes over a crackling phone line with parents

Missed birth, worst moments

But most of all



Three years after discharge

She runs her thumbs, still raw

Up and down and up and down

The raised skin from scars


An old coping mechanism

It was better than creating new ones

Rubbing up and down and up and down

Remembering why therapy is so important in the first place

This poem is about: 
My family
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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