Playful smiles

Colorful walls wrapped up like gifts

Evenings of laughter

Car rides that turned to roller coasters


Strange faces

Carrying sorrow from within

Unfamiliar surroundings

Every scent and object telling just how broken these humans were



Oblivious to the world around me


Learning things I’d rather not



Hoping to hear something


Yet I hear nothing


There she lies in the poppies

Addicted to the poppies

And she doesn’t know it

But she’s about to kill us both


Brooding Eyes sunken in

A lifeless walking being

Under a seemingly unbreakable spell



-Jenna Rubalcava


Note from poet: This was written about my experience growing up with my sister. We always had a good time but it wasn’t until I was older that I realized she was always so giggly and crazy because she was always high or drunk. A big part of growing up for me was getting a clearer view of what was going on around me. I came to discover that many things about my childhood weren’t how I’d originally perceived them. During my high school years I wasn’t allowed to see her anymore because she had gotten into heroin and meth. The stanza about the poppies is one that I wrote back in high school when I was taking the situation fairly hard. I was always worried about where she was, what she was doing. A part of me was expecting to hear that she overdosed. Hence the line “she’s about to kill us both.” That line signifies my fear of her passing as well as the sadness that would come if things worsened. I chose poppies to symbolize drugs because poppies are known from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ to put Dorothy to sleep. In addition, they’re known for their extraction of opium which also ties in with drugs. I’m glad to say that my sister has been in rehab for almost a year now and has been doing great on her road to recovery. I pray and hope to see her thrive once she leaves the program. Through this I’ve learned two major life lessons; things aren’t always as they seem, and to help someone they must want to do better themselves, they must want it more than you.

This poem is about: 
My family


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