Anna Papadopoulos

My Brother Tells His Story

My brother tells his story

about sexual abuse on the local news:
the name of the teacher we trusted
hangs between us.

My mother listens
with plain burnt toast and black tea in hand.
She gathers the details
like broken seashells
that were once whole.

She watches
from the same wood-paneled porch,
which we once gathered
for “Happy Days” and “Laverne & Shirley” –
the polypropylene beige carpet
holding us up,
the one we couldn’t dirty.

The details pour out
like a hole in a bag of rice,
grains mix
with where the dust has settled
until you can’t tell the difference
between what is and what was.

The mug misses her mouth –
scalding tea drips down her chin
until it’s eventually

Anna Papadopoulos has been a cashier, columnist, wedding photographer, chandler, marketing professor and corporate executive. She adores New York City’s gritty beaches and littered streets and even though she knows the odds of winning the lotto are impossible, she believes that it will happen. She and her husband share their home in Staten Island, NY with their twin sons, daughter, a poodle, a Siberian cat and her mother’s neglected Lenox collection.