MY TERRIBLE SISTER
My terrible sister won’t get out of my room.
First there was a knock—a quick rap—then kerplunk,
she plopped on my pillow, smiling all smug,
said she’s spied on someone, had a secret—or two.
Click. I closed my laptop. Came closer.
Yes, that was a mistake. Never let someone see
your pitter-patter of curiosity. Blackmailers call
that inflation. It only raises their rates.
Forty dollars or she’d say no more.
Unacceptable, right? I tried to find a compromise,
like I’d agree not to flick her head in the car anymore.
But she stuck firm. I understood. She was an entrepreneur.
Now, forty dollars poorer, I know a thing or two,
like he said and she said, and who’s dating who.
—from 2015 Rattle Young Poets Anthology
Why do you like to write poetry?
Nick Hébert: “Poetry appeals to me because it uses a minimum number of words to tell a bigger story. That’s powerful.”