To many people a shrimp is a small free-swimming crustacean with an elongated body, typically marine and frequently harvested for food. To me, shrimp is a person. A childish third grade nickname. A short ginger boy.

I see your shrimp on platters at parties alongside a pool of cocktail sauce. My shrimp? He’s in the living room playing Wii Sports with me, burning chicken nuggets in the oven just feet away. He’s the one I go to when the place I call home is full of yelling and door slamming. When no one is there to support the opportunities I have and decisions I make.

Your shrimp is just a shrimp. Mine is an older brother. The type of brother who helps you dig a hole because you want to make a bonfire, but have no fire pit. The kind who makes up games with you when there’s nothing better to do. He is a special type of shrimp.

Your shrimp has a life expectancy of four years, while mine? Mine had a life expectancy of twenty-three. I may have associated him with shrimp, but he was and always will be much more than that.


This poem is about: 
My family


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