For Older Sisters and other poems

By Crystal Schubert

Image courtesy of giltay (

For Older Sisters

The youngest sister

Waiting for instructions.

Copying the steps.
Mimicking movements.

Until shadows recede
and she’s standing

Out of the Wild

Image courtesy of p_a_h (

When she was wild,
she ate plants.
Onion grass stuck in her teeth
like floss.
Chewing on dandelions,
cattail and burdock.
She was coated in earth,
and needed two baths
to get clean.
Now she’s vanilla sandalwood,
deodorant, and breath mints–
you’d never know
she was there.
She’s echoes of floral prints
gliding in front of you
through the hallway,


You know how I like to watch you.
The way you balance everything atop those shrugged shoulders;
literary genius pinned to your face, a barricade against the world.
Those jeans that look vintage
but still have the tags on.
I’d point it out, but I want you to give me those
fuck-me eyes you’ve been giving that girl
across the aisle on the 18 bus
heading downtown.
I ride until you disembark.
Then one stop further,
down the hill
so I have to walk back up–
for punishment.


Image courtesy of AshtonColeman (

In the summer,
with salty air that’s honey thick,
your thin tresses become
knotted, unkempt.
Bathing in the shallows,
your arms and legs extend above water–
frothy and iridescently mottled, colored like
the belly of a seashell.
Waves churn against skin.
In the beat down sun,
no cool wind at your back,
your hair and your limbs
crawl out of the ocean.
I have loved you.
Your dry, cracked skin,
rosacea-stained face,
custard thighs,
are all single pieces of
some rapturous whole.

Crystal Schubertis an aspiring YA fiction writer, living in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and her cat. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BA in English. She’s a sucker for love stories and went through an intense Paula Abdul phase when she was younger.


Subscribe / Share

3 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Crystal….what wonderful poetry. You are so gifted!

  2. Lourdes says:

    My favorite poem is “Downtown.” I can certainly relate. “Literary genius” faces are always difficult to ignore. Thank you so much for sharing these poems with us.

  3. Susan Lynn-Rivera says:

    Lovely, Crystal. I especially liked SUMMER. Your imagery was actually a tactile experience for me. It stirred up a lot of memories.

Leave a Reply

What Is YARN?

It's a brilliant thing to have a place where you can read fresh original short stories by both seasoned YA authors and aspiring teens. YARN is a great tool box for growing up writing. - Cecil Castellucci

Imagine. Envision. Write. Revise. Submit. Read.

YARN is an award-winning literary journal that publishes outstanding original short fiction, poetry, and essays for Young Adult readers, written by the writers you know and love, as well as fresh new voices...including teens.

We also believe in feedback, which is why we encourage readers to post comments on pieces that inspire thought, emotion, laughter...or whatever.

So. What's your YARN?

Publication Archive