Tag Archives: sisters

I Learned it from a Box of Books

I fell into a sea of brothers, often swimming
For dear life, secretly wishing for sisters, while
My friends with families overflowing in the feminine
Sharing clothes, make-up, bedroom discussions
Extolling the necessity of good hygiene, the hows
Mixed intimately with the whys leading to success
With boys, whose secrets I knew but didn’t understand
Girls counseled in giggles by their own safely through
Puberty’s passage while me with a borrowed set of books
My mother placed solemnly on the kitchen table for me
To read with their anatomically correct animations
Curiously provided me with the facts minus the fun
No depth for understanding intricacies and the power
In the possibility of love or preparation when advantages
Were given and taken and the shocking discovery made
That boys don’t love you after if they didn’t love you before
And not a book written gives comfort then; I have looked

For Anonymous – The Importance of Family

They were standing in the kitchen.
Why is it serious family events
always reveal themselves in our kitchens?
He had a large lump on his neck.
My dad feeling it, for my mom
Agreeing, it seemed awfully big
For a swollen lymph gland
It wasn’t mumps.
Mumps didn’t look like that.
This, the only time I saw
My daddy look scared
Our mom lying face down
On her bed sobbing.

Bad news I heard mom tell
My aunt Alice on the phone
My brother, cancer, he would
Have to go away to get better
Their only hope.
Brett would need surgery.
My parents needed
To be with him
I didn’t realize then
The big long zipper
On my brothers chest
Could have killed him.
How did he get through that?

Driving up in the
Light blue Buick singing
That’s the Night that the Lights Went Out in Georgia.
Tim’s favorite song.
Brett would come down to see us,
I think it was the lobby.
We drove the 90 minutes
Back in the dark
Sunday nights; him alone, us
Squeezed into the back seat.
Not knowing really
What was happening
He couldn’t come with us, yet

We other five cared for by
My mom’s sisters, brothers.
Adopted for weeks at a time.
Alice made me eat my vegetables.
She made me stop
Sucking my finger, by my side
At my second first communion
She makes sure a person
Knows they aren’t alone.
Years later when he got sick again
I would look at him
In that hospital bed
Fighting for another day

I understood how scared
At 13 he must have been
I couldn’t bare him
To be alone this time.
He told me how he hated
When he was left alone
Back then because
Five other kids were home
He needed us then
Now he deserves better
Than what we can do
Even when sometimes
The need to help was too much.

His wife always at his side
Until morning came
To adjust his breathing mask
Keeping track of so much
Informing of the details
No one else remembers
In a hospital, but
Shouldn’t they,
Mostly, like Alice, so he knew
He wasn’t alone
We didn’t stop at the lobby
This time, he didn’t come home
I miss my sweet big brother

The Wish List

Dear Santa
i am 8 and
all i want is a sister
someone to giggle with
someone to fight with
fair and square
i love my brothers
but they tickle til
i cry and play dirty
plus they hate my
doll and when i play
the violin they make
fun of me so i don’t
want to practice even
when mom scolds me
if i don’t.
and they say i have
cooties and that
i smell
i don’t think
i smell santa
i know it won’t be
perfect with a sister
but i’d sure like to try
i know i keep asking
santa every year but i
just thought i’d ask one
more time
pretty please Santa
i think i will need her
when i get old and i
need someone who never
forgets me even when
i’m dumb
who calls me just to say
hey, got time to talk?
i’ll always say yes
even when she’s
kinda dumb
which won’t be
a lot. i will talk
to her even if
i was just going
out the door
just think about it Santa
and if you cant
could you get someone
to borrow one
of these dumb
brothers of mine