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“Why did you melt your waxen man
          Sister Helen?
To-day is the third since you began.”
“The time was long, yet the time ran,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Three days to-day, between Hell and Heaven!)

“But if you have done your work aright,
          Sister Helen,
You’ll let me play, for you said I might.”
“Be very still in your play to-night,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Third night, to-night, between Hell and Heaven!)

“You said it must melt ere vesper-bell,
          Sister Helen;
If now it be molten, all is well.”
“Even so,—nay, peace! you cannot tell,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
O what is this, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Oh the waxen knave was plump to-day,
          Sister Helen;
How like dead folk he has dropp’d away!”
“Nay now, of the dead what can you say,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What of the dead, between Hell and Heaven?)

“See, see, the sunken pile of wood,
          Sister Helen,
Shines through the thinn’d wax red as blood!”
“Nay now, when look’d you yet on blood,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
How pale she is, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Now close your eyes, for they’re sick and sore,
          Sister Helen,
And I’ll play without the gallery door.”
“Aye, let me rest,—I’ll lie on the floor,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What rest to-night, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Here high up in the balcony,
          Sister Helen,
The moon flies face to face with me.”
“Aye, look and say whatever you see,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What sight to-night, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Outside it’s merry in the wind’s wake,
          Sister Helen;
In the shaken trees the chill stars shake.”
“Hush, heard you a horse-tread as you spake,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What sound to-night, between Hell and Heaven?)

“I hear a horse-tread, and I see,
          Sister Helen,
Three horsemen that ride terribly.”
“Little brother, whence come the three,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Whence should they come, between Hell and Heaven?)

“They come by the hill-verge from Boyne Bar,
          Sister Helen,
And one draws nigh, but two are afar.”
“Look, look, do you know them who they are,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Who should they be, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Oh, it’s Keith of Eastholm rides so fast,
          Sister Helen,
For I know the white mane on the blast.”
“The hour has come, has come at last,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Her hour at last, between Hell and Heaven!)

“He has made a sign and called Halloo!
          Sister Helen,
And he says that he would speak with you.”
“Oh tell him I fear the frozen dew,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Why laughs she thus, between Hell and Heaven?)

“The wind is loud, but I hear him cry,
          Sister Helen,
That Keith of Ewern’s like to die.”
“And he and thou, and thou and I,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
And they and we, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Three days ago, on his marriage-morn,
          Sister Helen,
He sicken’d, and lies since then forlorn.”
“For bridegroom’s side is the bride a thorn,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Cold bridal cheer, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Three days and nights he has lain abed,
          Sister Helen,
And he prays in torment to be dead.”
“The thing may chance, if he have pray’d,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
If he have pray’d, between Hell and Heaven!)

“But he has not ceas’d to cry to-day,
          Sister Helen,
That you should take your curse away.”
“My prayer was heard,—he need but pray,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Shall God not hear, between Hell and Heaven?)

“But he says, till you take back your ban,
          Sister Helen,
His soul would pass, yet never can.”
“Nay then, shall I slay a living man,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
A living soul, between Hell and Heaven!)

“But he calls for ever on your name,
          Sister Helen,
And says that he melts before a flame.”
“My heart for his pleasure far’d the same,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Fire at the heart, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Here’s Keith of Westholm riding fast,
          Sister Helen,
For I know the white plume on the blast.”
“The hour, the sweet hour I forecast,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Is the hour sweet, between Hell and Heaven?)

“He stops to speak, and he stills his horse,
          Sister Helen;
But his words are drown’d in the wind’s course.”
“Nay hear, nay hear, you must hear perforce,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What word now heard, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Oh he says that Keith of Ewern’s cry,
          Sister Helen,
Is ever to see you ere he die.”
“In all that his soul sees, there am I
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
The soul’s one sight, between Hell and Heaven!)

“He sends a ring and a broken coin,
          Sister Helen,
And bids you mind the banks of Boyne.”
“What else he broke will he ever join,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
No, never join’d, between Hell and Heaven!)

“He yields you these and craves full fain,
          Sister Helen,
You pardon him in his mortal pain.”
“What else he took will he give again,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Not twice to give, between Hell and Heaven!)

“He calls your name in an agony,
          Sister Helen,
That even dead Love must weep to see.”
“Hate, born of Love, is blind as he,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Love turn’d to hate, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Oh it’s Keith of Keith now that rides fast,
          Sister Helen,
For I know the white hair on the blast.”
“The short short hour will soon be past,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Will soon be past, between Hell and Heaven!)

“He looks at me and he tries to speak,
          Sister Helen,
But oh! his voice is sad and weak!”
“What here should the mighty Baron seek,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Is this the end, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Oh his son still cries, if you forgive,
          Sister Helen,
The body dies but the soul shall live.”
“Fire shall forgive me as I forgive,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
As she forgives, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Oh he prays you, as his heart would rive,
          Sister Helen,
To save his dear son’s soul alive.”
“Fire cannot slay it, it shall thrive,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Alas, alas, between Hell and Heaven!)

“He cries to you, kneeling in the road,
          Sister Helen,
To go with him for the love of God!”
“The way is long to his son’s abode,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
The way is long, between Hell and Heaven!)

“A lady’s here, by a dark steed brought,
          Sister Helen,
So darkly clad, I saw her not.”
“See her now or never see aught,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What more to see, between Hell and Heaven?)

“Her hood falls back, and the moon shines fair,
          Sister Helen,
On the Lady of Ewern’s golden hair.”
“Blest hour of my power and her despair,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Hour blest and bann’d, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Pale, pale her cheeks, that in pride did glow,
          Sister Helen,
’Neath the bridal-wreath three days ago.”
“One morn for pride and three days for woe,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Three days, three nights, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Her clasp’d hands stretch from her bending head,
          Sister Helen;
With the loud wind’s wail her sobs are wed.”
“What wedding-strains hath her bridal-bed,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What strain but death’s, between Hell and Heaven?)

“She may not speak, she sinks in a swoon,
          Sister Helen,—
She lifts her lips and gasps on the moon.”
“Oh! might I but hear her soul’s blithe tune,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Her woe’s dumb cry, between Hell and Heaven!)

“They’ve caught her to Westholm’s saddle-bow,
          Sister Helen,
And her moonlit hair gleams white in its flow.”
“Let it turn whiter than winter snow,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Woe-wither’d gold, between Hell and Heaven!)

“O Sister Helen, you heard the bell,
          Sister Helen!
More loud than the vesper-chime it fell.”
“No vesper-chime, but a dying knell,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
His dying knell, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Alas! but I fear the heavy sound,
          Sister Helen;
Is it in the sky or in the ground?”
“Say, have they turn’d their horses round,
          Little brother?”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
What would she more, between Hell and Heaven?)

“They have rais’d the old man from his knee,
          Sister Helen,
And they ride in silence hastily.”
“More fast the naked soul doth flee,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
The naked soul, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Flank to flank are the three steeds gone,
          Sister Helen,
But the lady’s dark steed goes alone.”
“And lonely her bridegroom’s soul hath flown,
          Little brother.”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
The lonely ghost, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Oh the wind is sad in the iron chill,
          Sister Helen,
And weary sad they look by the hill.”
“But he and I are sadder still,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Most sad of all, between Hell and Heaven!)

“See, see, the wax has dropp’d from its place,
          Sister Helen,
And the flames are winning up apace!”
“Yet here they burn but for a space,
          Little brother! ”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Here for a space, between Hell and Heaven!)

“Ah! what white thing at the door has cross’d,
          Sister Helen?
Ah! what is this that sighs in the frost?”
“A soul that’s lost as mine is lost,
          Little brother!”
     (O Mother, Mary Mother,
Lost, lost, all lost, between Hell and Heaven!)
Terry Collett Mar 2016
Mother Josephine dead. It's hard to believe, Sister Teresa muses to herself as she leaves the church after Sext. So long ago now since I first saw her. Thirty years ago, yes, thirty years ago. And as she walks along the cloister towards the refectory, she thinks over the many years of their relationship. The sun shines into the cloister and warms the ground beneath her feet. She passes the bell rope hanging like a tail in the cloister outside the refectory door. It was here, she says to herself as she enters the refectory, it was here that Mother Josephine first spoke to me all those years ago. And entering the refectory she bows towards the crucifix on the wall above Mother Abbess's table and goes to the old table where the bread is laid out for the sisters. She cuts herself two slices of brown bread and takes her place at the table where she has sat for the last six months. Yes, here, she repeats to herself, it was here that Mother Josephine first spoke to me that late evening that I arrived on my first visit to the convent. She stands by the table and awaits the arrival of Mother Abbess through the door. It seems years now since that evening. Thirty years. God. How time has flown. And seeing Mother Abbess enter, Sister Teresa bows towards her and waits for the signal to begin the grace. Tap tap and the grace begins and she recites the grace that she has said so many times now, that it seems like an eternity since she first said it way back in 1968. That long ago? Yes, I suppose it is, she thinks, sitting down at her place as the grace ends. And Mother Josephine was even then like a mother hen towards me that late evening I arrived. What did I ask her? Hard to recall now. Something about what qualifications I might need to enter the community, I think. And Mother Josephine said, returning from the kitchen where she had been to fetch me some warm food, only your willingness to serve and love of God. And I felt her wanting me to be there so much. Sister Teresa waits for the food to be brought to the table by one of the younger nuns. She looks across at the table opposite and sees Sister Martha pick up a glass and fill it with water from a glass jug on the table. So many have left or died over the years, she sighs looking away from Sister Martha. She waits until one of the young ones places a tray of meat and vegetables on the table and then offers it to her sisters on the right and left of her. They help themselves and then she, indifferently, takes a portion of each onto her plate and begins to eat. Mother Josephine has died, Mother Abbess had said that morning after Mass in the chapter house. And the community had not been that surprised but it had shocked Sister Teresa. It seemed as if old Mother Josephine would last forever but of course she didn't. Silly to think she would. Not think so much as wished it probably, she muses eating a portion and looking at the window up above her opposite. And Lucia not long gone either. It seems so many have gone recently. Lucia so suddenly last year. Shocked me that did and pained me terribly, she muses darkly putting down her fork and pushing food around the plate. Mother Josephine dead. Just like that. No more to know her about the house as such. No more to see her enter the church for Lauds or Vespers and Mass as she did those final weeks with effort. I wonder if she ever knew about Lucia and me. She may I think. When Lucia went to Rome way back in 1971 and I had problems settling down she had me sent home for a few weeks to recover. Breakdown of sorts. But she knew about us I'm sure. She said nothing but knew. Kind and gentle. Different from some that were here. Sister Teresa sips from the glass of water in front of her and gazes across at Sister Maria who was eating slowly from her plate. And then she looks up towards Mother Abbess who waits for the reader to finish the given text of the day. She cleans her knife, fork and spoon with her napkins and puts it away beneath the table ready for the next meal. Mother Abbess has finally settled down, Sister Teresa muses to herself. So sudden after Lucia's death. And Mother Josephine was always there then to guide the new Abbess. The tap tap from the Abbess and the reader stops in mid-sentence. All rise and the grace after the meal begins. After the Abbess has departed, the other nuns depart in whatever fashion and Sister Teresa walks out from the refectory and along the cloister in the sunshine. So alone now, Sister Teresa thinks, since Lucia went. Now even more so. The young are unfamiliar. The old too locked in their own world. Thirty years since I entered, she says to herself, as she walks along the cloister looking into the garth surrounded by flowers. And she remembers the time Mother Josephine came to the common room when she stayed that time in 1968 and said, “Mother Abbess says you can enter in the autumn.” But in fact she had entered in December because of other commitments and hence the late evening arrival, she thinks walking down the steps that lead into the grounds. Cold that year. Never known it so. But it was all part of the sacrifice I thought then, she tells herself as she walks slowly down the path leading to the beach. Now I take things in my stride, she muses smiling to herself and letting the sunshine warm her face. Never use to walk alone so much as I do now, she sighs, placing her hands inside her habit, there were usually others to walk with: Martha, Lucia, and of course Mother Josephine. Sometimes Martha comes and we walk along here but it's not the same. Years have given us little to talk about apart from the rumours and gossip. Mother Josephine is eighty-seven you know; Martha had said a few weeks back, I remember, Sister Teresa informs herself. Been a professed nun for seventy years. That's some time, Martha had added as we conversed along the cloister during our recreation period. Seventy years. I thought my thirty years was good, Sister Teresa muses. She looks up at the bright warm sunlight filtering through the trees above her head. She stands still for a few minutes and looks up and then around her. We use to walk here during our recreation with Mother Josephine those early years as novices. Georgina, Geraldine, Young Sister Henry and I. Never did quite take to Sister Henry. Gone now. Left years ago and married. Georgina and Geraldine left also after a year or so. Many called, few chosen, so the saying goes. And Mother would take us along here and down onto the private beach. We never sunbathed of course or anything like that. Just sat on the beach and watched the tide come in and out and talked and talked and occasionally in our youthfulness threw stones along the water. And Mother would join in too. So long ago, Sister Teresa says just above a whisper, so long ago. And she walks down onto the beach and stands looking out to sea. Sometimes Sister Lucy and I would come down here and just stand here. Sometimes we would hold hands and walk along the whole private stretch of beach. Once we saw Mother and quickly dropped our hands. She may have seen us but she never said or mentioned it. She never even tried to keep us apart as some may have done had they seen us so much together. But she never did. I can see her now standing here, her warm friendly eyes through narrow-wired glasses looking at me. Sister Teresa walks along the beach and hides her hands in her habit. She feels the salt from the sea on her tongue and in her nose. She closes her eyes and stands still again. Only the sound of the waves and the cry of far off seagulls now. I remember that time I went to see her because I had a falling out with Sister Henry. Yes, even here one can have falling outs, though one tries to resolve things not let them fester or become difficult. That is part of the test, Teresa. We all have our funny ways that may annoy another. We are all human. We may find others not to our taste or not those whom we would choose as friends. But we are bound by our vows and love of Christ to see Christ in all our sisters not just those whom we like or love, Mother had said. She may have been hinting about Lucy and me but she never said anything about names or such. Try to make an effort to see Christ especially in Sister Henry, Mother added looking at me through her glasses. I said I'd try. I did try and it made a difference. But we never really liked each other deep down, Sister Henry and I. Don't know why. Strange. But can you love someone whom you don't like? Possibly. I mean you may not always like those whom you love but you love them all the same. And others you like but not necessarily love. Well so I thought. Now I'm not sure. Mother was wise. She, who had been a nun for seventy years, knew human nature better than I. Sister Teresa opens her eyes again and looks out to sea. Sometimes, I remember, Sister James would come along on our walks. She was our assistant novice-mistress. I liked her. She had a great sense of humour and could throw stones along the waves better than any of us way back then. She too has left now. Mother Josephine was indeed like a mother hen to us who came into her care. Once she had retired, she was allowed to take things easy but she rarely did. She hated to be unoccupied. I bet even now she's asking Our Lord for things to do. People to pray for. Rest in peace, Mother, Sister Teresa says over the incoming tide. Now a bell rings. Recreation is over. Better return to the house, she says to herself as she turns back along the beach. And as she enters the cloister she senses that maybe Mother isn't far away. Just there. Watching. Listening. Smiling.
raingirlpoet Dec 2014
little sister did you do your homework?
little sister don't make me ask you again
little sister why haven't you done it yet?
little sister i swear if you don't

little sister stop following us
little sister- no not now
little sister you'll understand when you're older
little sister go away

little sister i don't know the answers to everything
little sister ask mom
little sister stop bugging me
little sister i don't have time

little sister let me tell you this
little sister life is hard
little sister i'm not going to hold your hand but
little sister i'll always be here for you

little sister stop relying on other people
little sister you're stronger than you know
little sister you can do it
little sister i believe in you
i've always been the little sister which sometimes makes it hard for people to take me seriously. i've been playing the role my whole life so sometimes it seems like the only role i know
Dorothy A Jan 2011
It was the Spring of 1908. Magdalena looked upon the water as it glistened in the sunlight.

A group of men stood beside her to her left, leaning against the railing of the boat as she was and looking out at the endless Atlantic ocean. The pungent smell of their cigar smoke reminding her of her father and his friends back home in Italy. She could not understand what these men were saying, but their words and laughter with each other comforted her.  They were all on their way to America, and their dreams were seemingly coming true. The spray of the ocean, and the brisk breeze, felt refreshing against her cheeks as Magdalena inhaled the fresh, cool air.

Magdalena looked over at her poor sister and tried to comfort her. Maria still was suffering from motion sickness, and she leaned over the railing in miserable anticipation to *****. Ladies and girls in babushkas were singing nearby, laughing with each other in the joy of each other's company. Magdalena really wanted her sister to experience the joy she was feeling, that these women and men were feeling around her.

She had to worry about her sister all the time. At age sixteen, Magdalena always felt responsible for Maria, especially now that she felt she had dragged her with her on this large passenger boat traveling across the vast Atlantic, a ride that seemed endless.

Maria was not quite fifteen, and she seemed more like a little girl to her older sister. Back in their small village in Italy, they both knew what their fate would be.

"You are lucky to get what you get", Magdalena recalled her father saying to her. "You are not the pretty one in the family, and we are not rich!"

Maria's father, Matteo, was not a bad man, but a blunt one. He knew he had to marry off his daughters one day, and the day came that Magdalena's father received an offer from a man almost thirty-five years older than she was for his daughter's hand in marriage. He was a simple peasant farmer, like her father was, and he went to the same  Catholic church as Magdalena and her family did.

"I don't want to marry him!" Magdalena confessed to her mother, Bella. "I don't want that life, Mama!"

"You don't need to love the man to marry him!" Bella shouted. "Don't let your father hear what you are saying! You need to be grateful! Do you think we can take care of you forever?"

Magdalena tried to be grateful. Out of eleven children that her mother bore, only six survived. It was not an easy life.   Her brother, Matteo, the third, and her sisters, Sofia and Arietta , were older than she was.  Maria, and her brother, Alberto, came after her.

Her father had already arranged for marriages for Sofia and Arietta. Both of them were currently pregnant, and Magdalena did not know if they were happy or not. Between the two of them, they already had five children. She never heard them complain, but she also rarely saw them smile. It was as if they accepted their fate with quiet submission and without a scrap of passion for their existence.

Magdalena looked over at her sister. Maria was retching, her hair hanging down about her. Madgalena lifted her sister's hair off of her sister's face, and gave her sister a handkerchief for her to wipe her face with.

"I am so sorry" Magdalena said, deep remorse in her expression.

Maria looked over at her sister, with her pretty green eyes, and asked, "Why?"

"Because I made you do this", Magdalena confessed.

Maria shook her head. "No, you didn't. I wanted to come".

They smiled at each other, and Magdalena thought her sister had the most beautiful smile ever. No wonder the men were buzzing about their home in hopes to find favor with their father. She could never be envious of her little sister, for she loved her too much.

Maria was going to be next, the last of the girls to marry off. But, first, it was Magdalena's turn. It was settled. She was to marry Vincente Morino, a forty-nine year old bachelor, a stocky man with thick white hair and mustache, and a gruff voice that scared her away.  

When she cried out to her father to have compassion for her, pleaing that he reconsider, his anger burned within him. "You either marry this man or you don't live here anymore! You will need to fend for yourself if you don't! You will not bring shame onto this family!"

Magdalena would cry herself to sleep almost every night. She shared a bed with Maria, and her sister would just hold her to comfort her. They had the closest bond among all the siblings. Maria looked up to her sister with great admiration, as did her sister to her.    

All her hiding away of her money paid off. Magdalena had to earn her keep by doing sowing and caring after a neighbor, an elderly widow. Every week, her mother and father expected her to hand over all of her money to them, for the common good of the family, for their survival.

She used to feel guilty for holding a small portion of it back. They surely would not discover it if she did. She dared not to tell anyone , not even Maria for fear she would be discovered and punished.

But now she found a good reason to tell her.

Some of the townsfolk had relatives that had went to America to live. If they were able to write, they would tell of tales of working so hard, but because of it they were now living lives they had never expected, of more food, of more space, of more freedom.

Magdalena removed the floorboards from below her bed. She pulled out the lovely paper money and coins from within her small metal chest. She now believed that she had enough money for her passage, and perhaps enough for one more.

"Do you want to get married to one of these men?" she asked Maria one day . They sat upon their bed, the soft, afternoon light filtering through their lacy, beige curtains. The distant sound of children playing could be heard on the streets below.

Maria didn't know how to answer quite at first. "No", she eventually said. "I am too young!"

Magdalena grabbed her sister's hand and clasped hers together upon it. "Then come with me", she said. "I am going to America".

Maria's jaw dropped open, and she looked like she had seen a ghost. She shook her head in disagreement.

"Don't leave me!" she cried out, tears welling up in her eyes.

"I am not!" Magdalena assured her. "You go with me!"

But how could they possibly do it? Two impoverished girls from central Italy, from really nowhere when it came to maps and the greater world around them. Could they really leave?

"I have saved some of my money", Magdalena whispered, for fear someone could have returned back home.

"You did not!" Maria whispered back. Maria worked, too, caring after some children down the valley. She never had enough courage to hold back any of her money.

It was a terrifiying concept, for both of them. Maria was both excited and fearful. She had decided that she would trust her sister. Madgalena knew she loved her greatly, and that she always would. Maria knew Magdalena loved her. But her mother and father! Her sleepy, little town! She would probably never see any of them again. This made her hesitate.

So Magdalena gave her time to think about it.

In the meantime, Magdalena continued to hide away money. Her mother was busy sowing her the wedding dress that her defiant daughter vowed to herself that she would never wear.

Then one day Maria came up to her sister in the garden in the back of the house. "I decided that I am going with you", she said bravely. She looked at her sister with a mixture of bravery and fear. Her breaths were short, and her heart was beating quickly.

Magdalena, her basket filled with zucchini, was standing in disbelief. She looked upon her sister with a warm, slow-starting smile.

"Then you better take me with you!" a young voice said from behind a tree.  

Oh, no! Alberto! Their twelve year old brother appeared in the scene, coming from behind that old tree by the rose garden.

Fired burned in Magdalena's eyes.  Alberto, that little snake! That rat! It couldn't be!

Who do you think you are spying on us?" she hissed at him. "And you don't even know what I am talking about!"

"Oh, yes I do!" Alberto responded, smugly. "You have been hiding money from Mama and Papa! And now you are going to America!"

Did he try to steal her money? Did he get his *****, little hands on her precious stash? Magdalena wanted to choke him, her insolent little brother, the youngest of the children who always was too smart for his own good. He just stood there, his cocky smirk on his face like he was so triumphant.

"Keep your voice down, or I swear you will not lived to see thirteen!" Magdalena warned him.

"You think you are going to leave me here alone?" Alberto told his stunned sisters. "Don't take me, and I will tell them. Take me, and I won't say a word".

Magdalena felt the need to grab a large branch to rush at him and beat him senseless. But she just stood there, hands on her hips, glaring at him in a showdown of angry eyes.

Alberto stood his ground, and he would not budge an inch. "Alright", Magdalena said in a harsh whisper, "And do you expect me to pay your way? I cannot do it!"

Alberto laughed, his eyes dancing in amuzement. "Do you think you are the only one who hides money?"

Magdalena felt better now that her sister's color was coming back. The air on the boat was refreshing as she breathed it in deeply. Where was Alberto?

"Oh, there he is", Maria pointed out. She shook her head and laughed. He was busy talking away with a pretty, young girl. Always the lady's man, the sisters agreed, far beyond his young years.

So now there they were, the three of them upon this boat. Magdalena did not want to betray her parents. She felt that they might want to come to America, but maybe they would stay where they were at. Perhaps they felt that they were too old to make a fresh start, or they could just be too afraid.

Would they miss her? Magdalena often wondered. Would they hate her for what she did? If so, she prayed that they would forgive her. It was bad enough she had left, but now Maria and Alberto would be gone, too, and she was responsible for it.

"Mira! Mira!" a man shouted out in Spanish. Another person cried out, "Look at that! America! America!"  

All faces were now captivated. The closer they came, everyone watched intently, like they were at a glorious theater. A low murmer of different languages all came about at once.

It took a long time to reach close to this unknown land, this vast coastline of the New World. It was just such an amazing sight that nobody wanted to go down below deck, one of sugar maples, and cherry blossom trees, of elegant homes nestled in cliffs.

Magdalena saw buildings much taller than she had ever seen in Italy as America came closer and closer into her sights, as her boat was making its way into the New York Harbor. She stood by her sister and gripped her hand in excitement. This took quite a long time to recach that destination, and it felt like a dream.

Alberto eventually ran over to his sisters. "That is it! That is it! The Lady Liberty!"

All three stood there amazed, with all the other passengers rushing about on deck and standing to look. She was a very tall lady, quite a lady indeed! A petina, a bluish-green, she stood there proudly with her lantern raised to the skies. Magdalena thought she was the most lovely sight that she had seen so far on her journey, and she could not stop the tears from flowing down her face.

Maria squeezed her older sister's hand, with tears streaming down her face, as well. As they held each other tightly, all Maria and Magdalena could do was cry in their relief and their hope.  

Alberto waved wildly at the statue, as if she would wave back. Others laughed and cried. Many waved, too,  and many stood there completely silent and struck with awe.

They had made made it.  At last! Magdalena felt like she had made the right move, even though she did not have a clue what her life would hold out for her.

Even so, she felt like she had found herself a home.
copywrited...............dedicated to all the immigrants who came to this country.
Swetank Modi Sep 2015
Hush, little sister
Please don't cry
I wish I could be there
To sing you a lullaby

I can see your arms
Bloodied and bruised
That's strange, little sister
Mine were like that too

I know you scream
When Daddy's there
Hush, little sister
I know you're scared

I can see the way
He's hurting you
I'm sorry, little sister
He did that to me too

I know that people
Ignore what's going on at home
That makes me angry, little sister
You shouldn't have to be alone

Hey, little sister
You want to know why I'm not there?
It's a sad story, little sister
But people should care

You see, little sister
One day Daddy got high
You were asleep in your crib
So you didn't hear my cry

He screamed at me
And smashed my head against the door
While you slept, little sister
I died on the floor

You know, little sister
I don't think that I would have died
If someone had only bothered
To listen to my cries

But hush, little sister
Daddy's coming home
Quick, get into bed
You don't want him to find you alone

I'm sorry little sister
He's in a bad mood
Run while you can

Uh oh little sister
He's lifting his belt
Scream while you can, little sister
Call for help

Hush little sister
You don't need to cry
No one can hurt you
You're in my arms tonight.
when my little sister was born
i was no longer the youngest
and i was happy to have her around

when my little sister was a baby
she was very smart
learned how to walk sooner than most of us

when my little sister was growing more and more each day
she took risks like
biting into a lemon
waking up our sleeping cat

when my little sister started school
she was excited

when my little sister learned to ride a bike
she fell many times
but one day
she kept going and going

when my little sister said something smart
i'd ask her
who told you that?
and she'd reply
she really meant to say

when my little sister thinks something is unfair
she gets upset

when my little sister thinks someone is unfair
she gets teary eyed
hurts inside

when my little sister sees a scary movie trailer on tv
she runs to the other room

so innocent

when my little sister asks me if I have a girlfriend
and I reply no
she replies
you don't need one - you need to take care of me

when my little sister wakes up and finds out she was sleeping all alone
she runs out of the room and cuddles next to me or Erik - our brother
or she says
i don't want to sleep anymore

when my little sister sings along to one of my songs
it brings me joy

when my little sister grows up
i want the best for her

when my little sister grows up
i want her to be an example
as long as i'm alive
i need to be that example
My little sister has taught me a lot. She looks up to all her siblings and we need to be an example first. She's only 5 years old.
Titanic-Lover Aug 2013
"Olympic,what was my sister like?
Did the people make her grand?"
"Yes,my darling,she was fine,
The finest in the land.
No one else was like her,
No one had her creed,
I knew within my very heart
The life that she could lead!
I sent my best of wishes to her
On a tenth of April day
She sailed away into the sun,
Nothing stood in her way.
Oh,Brittanic,my darling,
I wish that you did know
The spark of pride she sent in the air
Where'er she did go.
The air around her seemed electrically charged
With her undeniable glory
I watched from afar,
Knowing she'd make a front page story!
I felt pride within my soul
When people would stop to gaze
My sister was so beautiful and bound for happy days!"
"Olympic,why did my sister die?
Why couldn't I see her face?
We wait among happy people,
She's in a somber place."
"Brittanic,my dearest baby,
I cannot tell a lie
You must put up with this old girl,
And know that I shall cry.
I cannot think of my sister
Without my vision clouding with tears
I have been without her for so very long,
So many pain-filled years.
The day I heard that horrible truth
Will be etched forever in my heart.
The day I lost my beloved sister
With which I never wished to part.
When I received news of her sinking
I raced across the waves
Hoping I'd be able to say 'good-bye'
On her very last of days.
Oh,but I didn't get there quick enough!
I didn't have enough speed!
The Captain ordered me to give up hope,
An order I didn't want to heed!
I had raced across the blackened surf
Pressing to see how fast I could go,
Now the Captain ordered me to stop,
I hope you'll know the love I did know.
I wanted to go to that very spot
Where my sister's life did end,
A glorious lady with a glorious heart,
All ended by a word called 'sin'.
He hurt me with his ruthless order
Ceasing my propellers purpose-driven churn
My anger at him burned in my soul
I didn't want to obey a command
He was forcing me to learn!!
But,he forced me to learn
Forced me to turn away
Forced me to live without saying
Forced me to return to work that day.

"Olympic,are you mad at yourself?
Upset you never could say goodbye?
Upset you left her all alone?
All alone to die?"

"Oh,Brittanic,why must you ask such things?!
Such things that tear my heart in two!
But,answer you,I will,my darling,
Answer you,I shall do.
I have tried so vainly to forgive myself,
Yet,half my heart is plunged in grief,
It wraps around my very core
Like a strangling ivy wreath.
No one gave me a kindly look,
A sympathetic word they did not say,
Such as "Fair Olympic,you did all you could
To save your dear sister that day."
But I tried! Don't they know?
I tried to save her as across that ocean I ran!
I would of said good-bye
If not halted by a foolish man!
Yet,I never got to say 'good-bye'
Never let her know,
Titanic! My treasured sister!
How I love you so!!"

"Olympic,I hope you know I love you,
E'en though your heart is sad,
Forgive yourself,my dear mother,
You did not commit any bad.
Titanic knows you love her,
She knows you tried with all of your might
When love drove you across dangerous waves
On that perilous night.
You mustn't keep hurting a heart
That has dealt with so much bad,
Forgive yourself,Olympic,
And then you may not feel so sad.
I'm sure she is not mad
At the efforts you did make
You avoided danger the best you could,
Though your life was still at stake.
You acted with such bravery
On a night devoid of moon
You did all you could in hopes
To get to her so soon.
I love you,old Olympic,
I'm not angered at your ways
Concern for one you did love
Has lasted for years and days.
I'm sure you were the perfect sister
As you are the wonderful mother to me
I feel so proud when I see you come in
From a long,weary week at sea.
When I am old and wizened  like you,
I'll remember the pleasures I have known
From a grand lady named Olympic
Who hid a heart so alone.
I love you,my beautiful friend
And I'll recall a story behind the tears
Of perservering adoration for one
That you won't see for the rest of your years.
And,I'm sure,Fair Olympic,
When it comes time you too shall die,
You will be reunited with your sister,
For your kindness never did falter,nor lie."

"Brittanic,my dearest one,
It is a reassuring thought,
I will be so glad to see her,
For love will perish not.
But,for now,I am nothing more than
For men to hurt and command
But I shall dream now
Of a far-off and distant land.
A land where my sister resides
Where she,perhaps,waits for me
On a big eternal expanse,
A grand,forever sea.
I am sure my time is coming up,
I am over 20 years old!
The humans will not want me much longer,
I am no longer eye-catching and bold.
Twenty years old and over is not a lot,
For me,my life did really now just begin
But the humans will not want me much longer
They will make my life end.
I am no longer the fashionable steamer
That people clamor to take
I am 50,000 tons of steel
One day that the ship-yard shall break.
That is our future,my darling,
No matter the life we had,
It has happened to a good many ship,
It is so brutal and bad.
Do not think false wishes
That I shall escape this fate.
No,my baby,I shan't,
It will be either early or late."

"Oh,Olympic! They cannot **** you!
You have such a life ahead!
How could they be so cruel
And with their blows,make you dead?"

"Brittanic,my darling daughter,
To them,we are naught more than machines
We have no life,no hopes,
They don't even think we have dreams.
I could tell you so much more,dearest,
There is so much more I can say,
But the humans want me to go somewhere,
So,I shall come back one day.
Be true,my darling,while I'm gone,
Make me proud of your ways
Strike out over life,
Rejoice in the sun's rays
I shall come back again,
Don't you doubt that twice,
I have much more to tell you
And your company is so nice!"

I watched her as she sailed away
Into the slowly setting sun
Thinking of all she had told me
And the life that she had run.
The first thing she had done in life
Were joyful sails o'er the ocean blue
Then,drafted into war she was,
And cared for the soldiers too.
I loved her so very dearly,
And dreaded when we had to part,
But thoughts of meeting once again
Gradually settled my heart.
Her Captain took her one way,
Mine took me the other,
I remembered everything I saw
So I could later tell my dear mother.
Not everything was exciting
In those future trips I took,
Months were passing,but I recalled
Everything like a reference book.
So much time was passing,
Now the time was nigh,
When I 'd wait for dear Mother to come in
From the waves she did ply.
I waited and waited that first day
Sought out on the open sea,
It would be a wonderful time
When it was just her and me.
She would tell of her trip,
I would tell of mine
How proud she was to carry the flag
Of the White Star Line.
I waited and waited to see the tugs
That would pull her back to shore,
Just her and I together,
Sharing stories once more.
She didn't come in that day,
Perhaps that she was late
Taking a little longer that
The time the humans did slate.
She didn't come in that next day either
And I started to fret!
Did she come into a different dock
Than what she'd normally get?
The next day came,and far way,
I saw quite a sight.
Something that looked like a ship,
Though didn't appear quite right.
I watched the tugs pull it closer,
Yes,'twas a ship indeed.
But,what in heavens happened
To give it this somber lead?
I could tell it was grand at one time,
Yet,that seemed so long ago,
Curiousity wracked my mind,
And I wanted to know.
This somber shell came closer,
Devoid of deck and stack,
I looked toward the starboard bow
And the name

I couldn't think at all that moment!
My heart welled up with pain!
Olympic! My treasured mother!
I shall never see you again!
You were right about the ship-breakers!
They ruthlessly tore you apart!
Not paying any heed to your
Loving,kindly heart!
How shall I survive,
Without your beauty and your truth?!
Those ignorant men killed you
In your 25 years of youth!
Oh,I hope they be cursed
For doing something so bad,
Now I am without you
And so terribly lonely and sad!
Olympic! Olympic!
I shall say your name over and over again,
Hoping it shall bring you back
From hard-hearted sin!
I watched as they pulled you away,
My vision has clouded with tears
Yet,I keep on watching
You endured such fears.
Melancholy feelings grip my heart
I no longer have interest in life!
I have seen the meaning full and complete
Of a word you did call 'strife'.
No more stories to be shared
On a night glowing with moon,
No longer shall I see you,
Gleaming in the sun of noon!
The men have done their worst,
I shall no longer hear your horn,
Such a proud note it had
That I've remembered since I was born!!
Olympic,Olympic,I love you,
I'm so happy you got to hear those words
I'll wait and watch and listen
As the lament is echoed by sea-birds.
Those tug boats are pulling away
Taking you to the last of your fate.
I love you so much,dearest mother,
But,the ship-breakers I hate!!
You pass so slowly before me
I gaze for the last time at your sleek steel,
So strong,once you were,
But that doesn't now seem real.
With barely a ripple the water glides
Across your red and black coat
The humans are so uncaring
Thinking you are only a boat.
Good-bye,my mother dearest,
Farewell and aurevoir too,
I hope so much you are with your sister,
In the heavenly,eternal blue.
I wish you the best of happiness
For you loved your sister so,
As soon as the ship-breakers broke your heart,
I know that's where you did go.
I am so glad I heard the stories of
The life that you did live.
I am so glad I knew the love
The heart of you could give.
I hear the echo of your voice,
The tales that you could bring
The truths of your soul,
And the love that you could sing........

"Brittanic,my darling dearest,
When I was torn into by a collision with the Hawke,
It wasn't exactly pleasant,
And I had to return to dock.
The gentle men,they repaired my ****
Made me as good as new,
Then I sailed out again
Into the ocean blue.
Then,I threw a propeller blade,
Humans called me an accident-prone sort,
But,back again I went,
To be repaired at Belfast port.
That was the last time,dear daughter,
Titanic and I would be side by side
I wished it would last longer,
Yet time did not forever bide.
People took a photo
That immortalized that day
The very last time we'd be together,
Forever together,they'd say.
I hold that glorious memory
In the chambers of my heart.
Under 'lock-and-key',
Never,ever to part.
My sister and I together
Upon the ocean's crest
Glowing in the sunlight
At our next-to-best.
Oh,that moment was so long ago
Our moment side by side.
The last time we'd be together,
Before she sadly died.
The Captain thought me foolish
To plough through icy sin,
Yet,if it meant to save my sister,
I would do it all over again......"

My mother's words echoed
As she drifted away from sight.
Now she was with the one she loved
And tried to save on a 15th of April night.
I said my last good-bye to her
When the tug boats pulled her away.
This memory emblazoned fiercly
On this unforgettable day.
I watched a little longer
Wondered if there was sadness in the sea,
The Olympic-Class was over,
Now there was only me.
My mother was a masterpiece
When she was under steam.
Like a picture-postcard,
A reigning Ocean Queen.
People once loved my mother,
They sailed on only her,
But then,there came a change,
And she became a bothersome burr.
No one sought to save her
From the scrappers filth and grime,
She was wanted no longer,
Her age and fashion,her crime.
The people remembered her little
After her scrapping day
No flowers were strewn
In her solemn way.
Did any one else say 'good-bye',
Or,was I the only one?
Bading farewell to her grandeur,
And those crimes she hadn't done.
No monuments were erected
In her grand memory.
She was the daughter of Belfast,
And her second love was me.
She filled 25 years with her riches,
And also with her pride.
Filling them with love,
The love that never lied.
I always thought my mother to be
An invincible sort.
Who had no fears,or,if she did,
She left them back at port.
Her haunting words echoed
Her fortelling of her fate:

"I am nothing more than 50,000 tons of steel
For the scrappers to break...."

She said it with a certain sadness
For that was her future path,
She didn't deny  it with falsehoods
That they would tear her heart in half.
I shudder at the thought
Of the scrappers fire and tools
Who looked at my mother so eagerly
With eyes bespeaking cruel.
The company wanted her no longer,
No matter the life she had had,

"Scrapping happens to a good many ship,"
she said,
"And it is so brutal and sad."

What had she endured
In the breakers waterless dock?
Did she think of me?
Was I her final thought?
I love you,dearest mother,
There shall never be another like you
Think of you often,I will,
Upon the bounteous blue.

I am always the daughter of Olympic,
Always shall be Brittanic,
Always shall remember the love of my mother,
And the bravery of one named Titanic.
I  will always miss my mother,
And our days together in dock,
The stories she lovingly told me,
Be also under lock.
I will probably not share my stories
With many others,true,
But if the time does arise,
Share them I shall do.

"Brittanic,what was Lady Olympic like?
Did the people make her grand?"

"Yes,dear friend,she was fine,
One of the finest in the land...."
Though I am very learned in the subjects of Olympic,Titanic and Brittanic,any one who knows the story will realize many details have been left out. The reason for this is because I made it more of a 'human-interest' poem,to show the three sisters in a different light other than engine-driven steel leviathan vessels. Placing Olympic as the mother of Brittanic makes it easier,in my opinion,to gain feelings towards the matter. Yes,Brittanic was sunk in war ages before Olympic was sold to the T.W Ward shipyard,but to mix the details around makes it more interesting. I aim this prose to  spark interest in RMS Olympic,a grand lady who is remembered little.  Put yourself in the position of Brittanic and imagine the fright at seeing the demolished and scrapped vessel as her mother. When all is said and done though,I dedicate this poem to RMS  OLYMPIC. Rest In Peace,dear lady.
Autumn Mar 2015
And what do I do when my father is suicidal
My mother having back surgery, secretly hating the way her life turned out
My brother at college and asking for my advice about his gf cheating on him that he was about to get an apartment with
A biological dad that won't leave me alone but I can't get over the mistakes he has made over and over
Brothers hours away that I love and never see
A little sister in a place similar to where I use to be
But oh so different
A little sister who has an older one to come to and ask why do I feel this way?
A sister who now has someone to know that I ******* CARE ABOUT YOU to know that SHE IS NOT ALONE and a little sister who had a big sister to take her blades away to hold her when she cries to tell her to start a journal write every little thing in it and one thing you love about yourself or one thing you will do in the future
A little sister who I gave hope to
A little sister that I see much of myself in but in so many different ways
A little sister that I would never allow to feel the rejection from her parents
A little sister who came to me and told me she wants to **** people
She fantasized about it and she doesn't know what's wrong
And a little sister who cuts herself
But one that I would no longer let that happen to
A little sister that has broken me down and made me cry for hours
A little sister that has filled my youth with jealousy and a little sister that is as spiteful as my mother
But a little sister that I would protect no matter how many times she ruined me.
Mitchell Duran Sep 2013
The retainer where she was put
Was made of concrete. My father told me they had
Dug the grave first, then poured the concrete in, waited for
It to dry and harden, then hammered in six
Circular spikes in the four corners, two on either side
Of the middle. They lifted the concrete cast out with a crane.
My dad was going to be charged 300 dollars a day for the rental,
But because of the circumstances, Home Depot let us have it for free.


Where was she?
Where had she gone?
Would I see her face again?
Would she want me to
Meet her on the other side of the river?


I answered my cell phone.

"Make sure to bring flower's."
She had been crying. Her voice wavered the way sun light
Does on moving water.

"Make sure to bring flowers," she repeated, "And
That you wear what your father and I bought you."

I nodded my head with the receiver pressed up against my ear.
We both let out a sigh. My mom hung up. I put my phone in my back pocket.


Lately, I had been seeing a shrink about repetition. He liked to use the word cycle.

"Everything is repeated," I would tell him.

"Life is a cycle," he'd disagree so to get me talking.

"Can cycles be identical?"

"Technically not. Some cycles are extremely similar, but no two cycles are
Completely the same. Are two people's lives ever exactly the same?"

"I wouldn't know. I don't know that many people. Maybe."

"You know lots of people, Camden. You have told me about many of your friends."

"Are we talking about the seasons?" I asked, changing the subject, "Like fall, winter, spring, summer? We are born, we live, we die, and we are born again?"

"That's a very natural way of looking at it."

"I know it is." I inhaled deeply, swallowing air and wondered what time it was.

"If you are so sure, why look for validation from me?" He liked this one, I could
tell. I imagined him shopping for clothes and then exploding in aisle 16 because of a sale on jeans.

"The word cycle is used by people too afraid to use the word repetition. Everything is
Repeated for the next generation, the next group, the next of the next of the next. We shift things
Around, give things to one another to shift life to make it look different, but, things remain the same. Everything contains the primal function we were all doing and living from the very beginning, only now, there is more of a separation. Music is still music, words are still words, paintings are still paintings, love is still love, death is still death, only done differently and more intensely."

"We are talking about man furthering technology because we, as people and creatures, are
Statistically more prone to flee than fight?"

"Why do you think it has caught on so quick?" I touched both
Corners of my lips with my tongue and suddenly realized I hadn't eaten breakfast.

"It is a theory," the psych nodded, "A theory with, I am sure, many
Palpable facts you could make a very nice report with to prove...something." He
Was at a lost for words and I felt guilty that my mom was paying him $75 an hour.

"We are very split. There are too many of us. Too many hands spinning the china."

"Who is we Harry?" The psych hadn't looked up from his pen and pad of paper, until now. I could
Tell he was annoyed with me either because he was making no progress or because the session
Had just begun and I was already digging into him.

"Culture. The government. You, me, my dad, my mom, the taco bell cashier, the geniuses at Apple computers, a paper weight, my dead sister. We're all apart of these shifts, all putting in a certain amount of energy and lies to keep the protection of the projection going. The question I keep asking myself is: do I want to use my strengths to be apart of this cycle or not?"

His eyes flared open for a moment like he'd swallowed a firefly, not at the question I had posed for myself, but from what I would soon see was from the mention of my sister. He had something.

"I was notified by your mother that you may not want to talk about your recently deceased sister. Is It O.K. if I ask you some questions about her?"

I was leaning forward on the couch with my hands clasped in between my legs. The psych had looked up at me now. He was sweating at the top of his thin hairline. Observing that I was staring at his building perspiration, he, trying to be nonchalant, took out a thin, white napkin from his grey shirt pocket and dabbed the top of his head. The napkin looked like cheap toilet paper. I'd have offered him some water, but I had no water to give and I didn't know where the sink and cups were to give him any. I figured he did - it was his office - so I asked him for some. He pointed me in the direction of the bathroom. I got up and found a stack of paper cups. I poured myself a cup and went back to the couch, but instead of leaning forward, I sat back, relaxed, and let the expensive leather couch take the weight I had been carrying away.

"So," the psych maintained cooly, "Would it be alright if we were able to discuss your sister?"

I lifted the paper cup over my head and the psych's eyes, after I poured the water over my hair, my face, and clothes, was a mixture of what my mom's eyes looked at the funeral, defeated, confused, and with a loss of faith and hope. My father's eyes had only held hate, anger and the need to lash out at someone, but the only someone that would have fit the bill would have been God.

"Sure," I answered, "Let's talk about my sister."


I finished drying myself in the car. The psych had let me keep the towel.
I leaned out the window to look at myself in the side mirror. I looked fine.
Presentable. Accountable. Like I had been through something where I had
Faced my soul. Like I had used and abused my emotions. There was comb in my glove compartment, so I took it out and rushed it through my damp hair. Slicked back. The sun
Was out, no clouds, burning up the inside of my car. That taste that comes after
Finishing something that's supposed to do you good didn't come. I was left with an unsure hand.
Putting my keys in the ignition, I turned them, and felt the engine rumble in front of my legs.
The sun sat in the sky like a lazy hand and I had nowhere else to go but home.


"Let's go to the river today," my dad said over coffee and two over easy eggs on top
Of burnt wheat toast. "I'll drive and you and your sister can sit in the back and sing."

I looked over at Ally. She was gazing into her fruit bowl she had prepared for
herself because dad didn't understand the concept or how to make it. The lamp light above us
reflected in the smooth apricot yogurt and the flecks of granola scattered on top
looked like beige, jagged rocks. My dad's offer hung in the air and neither
of us bit the lure. I had just woken up and was unable to speak clearly, a decent
excuse. Ally was simply choosing to ignore him.

"What you think there Ally?" I asked her. I sipped my coffee. It needed more cream. I got
U, got it and brought the carton to the table.

"We can take the truck down there and load the back with the fishing poles and tackle
And inner tubes. We haven't...done a long time," he said, chewing his food as he spoke.

Ally poked her fruit bowl with her spoon, silent.

"What you think, Cam?" My dad was desperate. He knew I'd say yes.

"Sure. I've got no plans this weekend."

"No schoolwork?"

"It can wait till Sunday. Only math and some reading."

"Ally, what do you think?" my dad asked, leaning over to her. I could see he was
Trying to be as courteous and gentle with her as he knew how to. I felt bad for him.

"Sure," she muttered, "That sounds like fun." I could barely hear her, but somehow,
I could tell she sounded happy.

"Perfect," my dad smiled, "We'll pack the car up Friday,
Drive up Saturday morning early, camp one night, then get back Sunday afternoon." He
Took a long sip of his coffee and swished it around in his mouth, then dug
His fork into the dry toast and ran his small steak knife over the eggs. A silent pop came from
The egg and the light orange yolk spilled out. "Perfect," he repeated, "Just great."

Ally poked a grape from her fruit bowl and dipped it into the yogurt.
I took another sip of my coffee and looked up into the fan, spinning above us.
We were going to the river.


"Your sister turns five today," my mom told me, "And that means
I want you to be on your best behavior."

I nodded, unsure what the point of a birthday was. I had had one before, or at
least I thought I did, and all I remembered was that I got presents and the colorful balloons
and the cake we all ate with fire kind of floating and burning above it. Somewhere
in that moment I remember thinking that the cake was going to catch on fire, then they, everyone,
some that I knew and some people I had never seen before, yelled and shouted to
blow the fire out, so I quickly did, but not because it was for a wish, which I later found out it was supposed to be for, but because I truly thought the cake was going to catch fire and they wanted me to take care of it. At that point, I was unsure what it meant to be alive or why to celebrate it all.

"This is her day, Camden," my father told me, "So I want you to be happy for your sister."

"I am," I said. I was wearing my favorite white and blue striped t-shirt and
New shoes that my mom had bought me for the party.

"Sometimes you have to think of other people," my mother continued, "And today is one
of those days. I don't want any crying because you didn't get any presents or that none of your
friends are at the party. There are going to be a lot of Ally's friends there, but not many
of your' you understand?"

"Yes, Mom."

"Do you understand, Cam?" My father repeated. His skin was the color of a burnt
pancake and he smelt like stale sugar and sun tan lotion. He was in front of me and was
holding a thin magazine with a man in a boat holding up a fish on a line on the cover.  

"Yes, Dad," I said again. I was hungry. I wanted mac n' cheese, my favorite food.

I had been on the floor, laying on my stomach watching Ren and Stimpy. They were standing in front of the television and I remember trying to wish them out of the way. Behind them were two, large bay windows where three palm trees stood in a row like tropical soldiers. I could see there was no wind because the three of them stood still, as if posing for someone. Their leaves were bright green, a mixture of the neon green Jello I used to love to eat and the orange Jolly Rancher my dad would always have in a tiny tray in the middle of the dining table. My mother hated having them there because it always tempted Ally and I, but he never moved it until he moved out.

"Do you like your show?" my mom asked, turning to see what I was watching.

I nodded, absently. Ren was licking Stimpy's eye because he was complaining about having
an eyelash in there. Stimpy was completely still and smiling like he does - dumb and content.

"Interesting..." my mother trailed off. She walked to the kitchen behind the couch and
Opened up the pantry for something. "You hungry, Camden?"

"I'm starving," my dad said, "Let me go check on Ally in the bedroom. She should be up
from her nap."

I got up from my stomach and sat back on my legs, "Do we have mac n' cheese?" I asked.

"Let me check."

She reached up for the cabinet over the stove where I could never reach and
Opened it. I rose slightly up from where I was sitting to see if I could see the glorious dark blue and orange package, but wasn't able to see over couch. I hovered there, still like a humming bird.

"You're in luck," I heard her say, "We've got one box left."

"Yay!" I screamed and got up, running into the kitchen.

"But," she smiled, stopping me, "You'll have to share it with your sister."

"No! I don't want to! I always have to share."

"What did we just talk about Camden?" she said, lightly stamping her foot.

I tried to remember, but couldn't. I shrugged.

"You need to learn to share, Camden. You also need to listen better when your father and I are talking to you. You and your sister are going to know each other a very long time and I want you to learn how to share now, so you two can be happy in the future."

"The future," I asked, "What's that?"

She paused, then said, "It's a time," she paused again, "Ahead of us."

"Do we know where it is?"

"Not exactly," she sighed.

"What's it look like?"

"No one really knows. People can only imagine it."

"Is it very far away?"

She opened the top of the blue and orange mac n' cheese box and poured the dry macaroni into a large silver ***, lifted the faucet, and let it run inside for five or seven seconds. She placed the *** on an unlit burner and turned to look at me. Her eyes looked far away and right there with me.  

"Closer then you think," she said and turned the burner on.


I turned into the taco bell parking lot. There was something I was trying to remember that was in my trunk, but I couldn't recall the picture. A haze blew over the windshield that was a mix of heat and wind; I wished to be somewhere else, someone else, someplace else, but, there I was, sitting there underneath the sun, like everyone else. If I was able, I would have unlocked the door to my car and opened the door and walked out - but - there was something else lingering underneath my fingernails, something I couldn't name.

"Two tacos," I said into my hand, "And a water."

"Pull to the window," the voice buzzed over the muffled speaker.

"Yes," I said through my split fingers.

In front of me, over a patch of clean cut green grass and a yellow, red, and orange Taco Bell signature sign, was a fresh gas station with a willow tree *** near the front entrance. He had a sign that hung around his neck that read Juice Please - Very Thirsty. How I knew this was because I had seen it every time I had been asked to fill up my dad's car every other Sunday. I had never given the tree a dollar, yet, I felt that I owed him something. I tried to pull up to the window, but my clutch was grinding and a cloud slunk overhead. I was tired and only wanted to eat.

"That'll be a two twenty-five," the voice said through the thick, clear glass.

"Yes," I said to myself, digging into my wallet for three dollars.

I ****** the three onto the thick plastic platform. A quick sweeping plastic brush pushed the bills toward the asker, and the bills were gone. I had no food. I had nothing. My money was gone and all I had was a gurgling car in front of me and an empty front seat beside me. A pair of clouds waded by my front shield window. A shadow drew itself out in front of me like a **** model. A beep. Sudden and behind me. There was sound. I looked over my shoulder and a black  2013 Cadillac was sitting there, windshield tinted grey, the driver a shadow. I was unsure what to I pulled forward six inches, hoping the offer would be enough. I wasn't in the best neighborhood.

The window to the left of me slid open. An arm erupted forward with a plastic bag,
"75 cents is your change."

The hand dropped three quarters next to the plastic bag. I grabbed the bag with the two tacos and three quarters and quickly wound up my window. The face in front of me was a dangerous blur: smiling, frowning, not caring either way what happened to me next. The hands had gobbled up the three dollars and I was happy to see it go. Who needed money? I tossed the plastic bag onto the passenger seat and sped off two blocks for my grandma's house. Salvation. The holy land. A place with free hot sauce and two dog's that were stolen without paper's. Eden.


"What are you learning right now?" I asked Ally.

She hesitated, then said, "Something to do with science." She paused," Lot's to do with rock's."

"Rocks?" I stammered, not remembering a time when I learned about rocks in school, "What kind of rocks?"

"I don't know," she grinned, looking up at me, "All kinds."

I laughed and kicked a stone into the river. The sun was out and reflected on the water like an unpolished diamond. We had grown up a quarter mile away, but still, it felt foreign to us.

"I like it. There's some things you could see that you would never think to read about it in books."

I had read plenty off books. Most, I took little from, but Ally, I could see, had taken plenty.

"What are you doing in school?" Ally asked me.

"What do you mean?" I
Laura Ingram Mar 2012
I miss my sister.  I miss her smoke-colored singing voice, even though she never had in her life, miss the sun-dress rays, her arms and legs on grass, sharp enough to slice me open, miss the way she always managed to stitch my side.
Miss the way she was always on mine.
I miss my sister.  I miss the way she walked, the way she stood in that which rain falls, slanted not in, but against the wind.
I miss my sister.  I miss the tents we used to build with two tacky lawn chairs, sleeping not under the stars but under Star Wars.  I miss putting her clothes in Landon’s closet, although we’re all pretty sure the Jonas brothers are content in their own.
I miss my sister.  I miss staying with her in the hospital, which I did not do because she was afraid to be alone in a strange place, but because I was in a familiar one.
I miss my sister. I miss the broken butterfly wings she wore all week at Disneyland, miss the pre-poem paper, the face of potential, in all its pallor, hers.
I miss my sister.  I miss elbows and earnestness, a muted mirror picture left as the wall paper on my phone, her hugs colored the same silent shade shortly before she was reduced to one.  To just one.
I miss my sister.  I miss being weighed down by her weightlessness; piggy-back rides, shopping cart races, that last Great Strides walk when she couldn’t anymore.  I miss going to sleep with my glasses on, a story already indented in perfect paragraph form, miss My Little Ponies carrying my Storm Troopers to safety.  
I miss my sister, miss her laughing in spite of, laughing until she couldn’t breathe, red and white and wide open, picnics in both the park and the parking lot.  
I miss my sister.
I miss what felt like my whole family and I miss ours being described as such.
I miss crying when she got her first kiss and when I gave her the last.
I miss secrets she gave me, even though I promised myself I would never take anything from her.  
I kept them anyway.
I miss my sister.
I miss everything about her, even, no, especially the things I thought I wouldn’t.
I miss my sister.
I miss being her super-hero, even though I didn’t save the day, I tried to make it.  Tried to make more.
I miss my sister.
Still, I hope she doesn’t miss me back.
Still, I hope she will come that way.
Lee Albright, a rather old character of mine, reflects on the death of his sister, Emma.
Terry Collett May 2020
Sister Paul
had Anne and Benny
called to her office

she sat behind her desk
Anne sat with her
artificial leg out straight
and Benny sat beside her
gazing at the nun

Do you know
why you are here?
the nun asked
eyeing the girl

You want to give us
a box of chocolates
for good behaviour?
Anne said

the nun did not smile
and ignored the words

Do you know why
you are here Benny?

he looked at the nun's
black and white habit
and the framed face
gazing at him

he replied
sorting through
his memory
for some mishap

the nun said
I have received
too many complaints
about you both
from other sisters
and other sick children
at this nursing home
and it has to stop

Anything in particular?
Anne said
the last straw
kind of thing?

Sister Paul
had interviewed
Anne before
and was well aware
of her ability
to wrong foot people

Your disrespect of Sister Joan
and words you used
Sister Paul said

So not about Benny?
he never said anything
about about her
Anne said
eyeing the nun

Sister Paul turned
and looked at the boy
with his hazel eyes
and brown hair
with a quiff

Not that no
but he was involved
in other matters
she said

An accomplice
to the crime?
Anne said

Sister Paul sat back
in her chair
and out of sight
of the boy and girl
rubbed her rosary

You both left the grounds
of the nursing home
to go to the beach
despite being told
by Sister Bridget
that you needed
permission to do so
yet you both went

Sister Paul gazed at Benny
he was looking down
at his hands not at her

It was a lovely day
Anne said
the sun was out
the seagulls
were flying overhead
and the smell of the sea
over the hedge
was enticing
and we were overcome
with desire to see the sea

But you MUST
obtain permission first
Sister Paul said firmly
she sensed anger
rise in her
she squeezed the rosary
she had lost control
of her feelings
and she had intended
to remain in control

We chose to ignore
the suggestion
Anne said

and Sister Paul paused
it was not a suggestion
she said calmer
but a demand

the boy played
with his fingers
head down cast

Anne studied the nun
O.k. we chose
to ignore the demand
Anne said
we are guilty of that

the boy gazed at her
he conceded
we were

Sister Paul looked
at the girl
she had an air of confidence
which even having
a leg amputated recently
and being only twelve
had not dented

the boy a year younger
was less confident
he walked in the girl's shadow

This behaviour
must stop
Sister Paul said
it cannot be tolerated
any further
she paused
Now have I made
myself understood?

As clear as ice
Anne said
the boy nodded

And I have your word
you will improve
your behaviour?

As complex as I am
with conflicting emotions
and highs and lows
and one leg removed
by some quack
with the brain of an ape
and with parents
who visit me less frequently
than my monthly bleeds

That is ENOUGH Anne
the nun shouted

the boy gazed
at the crucifix
above the desk

Have I your promise
to improve your behaviour?
she said

Anne lazing back in the chair
nodded her head
Of course
she said
the boy nodded his head

the Christ on the crucifix
above the nun
looked on in silence

You may go
Sister Paul said
with a sigh
and they left
and Sister Paul
sensed a need to
but didn't cry.
Nameless May 2014
Hush, little sister
Please don't cry.
I wish I could be there
To sing you a lullaby

I can see your arms
Bloodied and bruised
That's strange, little sister
Mine were like that too

I know you scream
When mommy's there
Hush, little sister
I know you're scared

I can see the way
She's hurting you
I'm sorry, little sister
She did that to me too

I know that people
Ignore what's going on at home
That makes me angry, little sister
You shouldn't have to be alone

Hey, little sister
You want to know why I'm not there?
It's a sad story, little sister
But people should care

You see, little sister
One day mommy got high
You were asleep in your crib
So you didn't hear my cry

She screamed at me
And smashed my head against the door
While you slept, little sister
I died on the floor

You know, little sister
I don't think that I would have died
If someone had only bothered
To listen to my cries

But hush, little sister
Mommy's coming home
Quick, get into bed
You don't want her to find you alone

I'm sorry little sister
She's in a bad mood
Run while you can

Uh oh little sister
She's lifting her belt
Scream while you can, little sister
Call for help

Hush little sister
You don't need to cry
No one can hurt you
You're in my arms tonight.
My little sister, is bright.
My little sister is unique.
My little sister is confident.
My little sister is funny,
But she's a bully.

My little sister is a bully,
I can hear it in her words.
She's someone I would hide from,
If I were in the same school as her.

My little sister is a bully,
But she's still changing.
I think the reason she's so blunt,
Is because she's afraid of being like me.

My little sister is afraid,
She saw me crying everyday.
So she shields herself with words.
It makes me feel like I've ruined her.

My little sister is a fighter,
She is thin but strong.
She's someone I want to be.
Hopefully she's still smiling.

My little sister is depressed.
But her smile is still wide.
She knows not to hide.
Terry Collett Sep 2016
Ingrid lived
with her sister
off the New Kent Road,
and having found
the address,
I went to the house
and knocked at the door.

A girl about 20
answered the door:
what do you want?
She said.

Is Ingrid around?
I asked.

Who wants to know?
The girl asked.

Who are you?
I said.

I'm her big sister,
what's it to you?

Do you always
ask questions?
I said.

Ingrid poked
her head
out beside
her big sister:
hello Benny,
she said,
it's Benny,
she said,
to her big sister
who gazed at her.

Who the heck
is Benny?
The big sister asked.

He's my friend
from Banks House,
Ingrid said.

Better come in then,
the big sister said.

So we went in,
and the big sister
shut the door,
and followed us
into the sitting room.

I sat on a sofa
and Ingrid sat
beside me
grabbing my hand.

Suppose you
want a drink,
the big sister said.

Yes please,
I said.

The sister
walked off
and left us alone.

How are you?
I said.

Bit upset
about Mum
and her
being in prison,
and I want
to see her,
but I can't
at the moment,
Ingrid said.

Do you think she
done your old man in?
I asked.

No she didn't,
Ingrid said,
someone else
did it,
Dad had
many enemies
could have been them.

I miss you not
being around,
I said.

Miss you too,
Ingrid said,
have to go
to a different
school now,
and I hate it.

How long are you
going to be here
with your sister?
I asked.

Depends on what
happens to Mum
and if she's found
guilty or not,
Ingrid said.

Are you allowed
out with me?
I said.

Don't know
have to ask my sister
as she's responsible
for me
at the moment,
Ingrid said.

The sister came in
with glasses of milk
and a biscuit each
and put them down
on a table.

Can I go out
with Benny?
Ingrid said.

Where about?
The sister asked.

Could take a bus
to London Bridge
and walk along
by the River
and see the boats
and ships,
I said,
I got some
pocket money.

The sister went
to her purse
and gave Ingrid
some money:
OK but don't be late
and be careful,
the sister said.

We will,
I said.

She walked
off again.

Ingrid kissed
my cheek.

We ate
our biscuits
and drank
our milk.

I looked
at around the room
which unlike
Ingrid's parents' flat
did not seem
full of gloom.
Hannah Bauer Jul 2015
I remember a time some summers back.
Brother and sister climb into the bath tub,
bathing suits on,
ready to relax and have fun.

Brother wasn't always so nice to sister.
He yelled things, terrible things.
He hit hard, awfully hard.
He said he didn't know his own strength.

Sister doesn't know if he meant physically or emotionally.

But that day was good.
It was a day of sun and water.

Brother wanted to see how long sister could hold her breath.
So she went down.
Underwater where the sounds echo and distort.
She waited.

Sister came up a half minute later.

Suddenly, brother pushed sister back under.
Sister had barely gotten a breath in.
Sister waited a few seconds.
Then it got hard to breathe.

Sister pushed her brother.
Started pushing
against his arm.

Sister cried:

Brother released sister's head.
Brother laughed at my tears.
Brother scoffed my fear.

Brother never said "sorry".

Today, years later, the story is the same.
Only now,
the water is depression
and the brother
Unfortunately, this is a true story. Wish I made it up.
L A Lamb Sep 2014
On hindsight, I realize the true meaning of love comes from my siblings. Nineteen years old, when I came out of the closet and realized me and my siblings were “flawed”, or human. Seventeen year old sister—***. Twenty-one year old brother—rehab.

“Do you think it’s ironic that we’re doing this on a playground?” called a voice from the assorted group of friends sitting on the sea of pebbles under the monkey bars. Another voice replied, after a quick cough and croaked, “No, I’m pretty sure everybody does this.”

“I bet the teachers do it too,” agreed the voice of an eighteen year-old boy.

“I’m going to be a teacher one day,” spoke the philosopher girl, who drifted from the conversation into the fog of her thoughts. As a junior in college and an ambitious girl, she lived her life in paranoia and curiosity from the outside world.

As the college students rose from the pebbled area of jungle-gyms, swings and slides, they approached a basketball court in passing to return to the neighborhood.

“Look!” yelled the philosopher girl. “There’s a ball over there, we should play.”

Their evening plans were determined when one boy concluded “We can’t play. The ball is flat.”

Rather than attempting to relive the innocence of childhood, the students under the influence of marijuana watched the possibility of recapturing pure childhood memories diminish through their loss of interest in what was once a childhood gratification of positive reinforcement. Recess was very important to any child in elementary school. My earliest memory of recess consisted of the earliest bonding time with my sister. It was my fifth birthday, and back before my parents divorced my mother was very involved with the community at our schools. My mom set up a birthday party for me in first grade, and my two year-old sister was brought along. My sister, the adorable baby that she was, received all of the attention. On my fifth birthday I wanted everyone to pay attention to me, but my sister was stealing my thunder. I resented her very much for always being the more beautiful of us two, and she always had the most grace. I’ve always felt awkward, quirky, and possibly weird, but it never seemed to distance my sister from loving me.

On that day at recess, while everyone was cooing over how adorable my sister was, I was off sulking on the swing set. I was always the one ignored of my siblings; my brother was the oldest of us three and the only male, and my sister was the youngest and most beautiful baby girl. I was always awkward, alone and blending in with the background. This being said, I made myself solitary from those neglecting my absence and looked up at the clouds. Five years-old and alone on a swing, I watched the cloud pass in the sky and morph from what looked like a snail, to a tomato. Before my very eyes approached a wide-eyes toddler with brand-new teeth and smiling eyes.

Everyone was following her, but she was following me. When she was the one of us preferred, she never failed to love me and remind me she was there.

When recognized as attractive for the first time, I was eager to be wanted so I threw away my virginity.

My sister, always so beautiful and classy didn’t need to put out to be well-liked, desired or noticed. Classy like my mother, my sister determined my fate as the black sheep in my adolescent ****** rebellion.

When my sister and I smoked with work friends, playing on the swing-set together like we had fourteen years earlier, I found out that she was a ******. The illusion of the pristine, classy and virginal sister shattered, but welded back together with love. My sister was not perfect, and my insecurity to being the un-unique, unnoticed and boring middle-child had ended. My older brother always considered the most-intelligent and most-successful was sent to rehab after 4 months of turning twenty one. The self mutilation was concerned as a big issue, and a mental illness could have him removed from the military.

Flawed sibling relationships brings closer bonding and relatable experiences, so exploring life together builds a unique and covalent bond between siblings witnessing life together, having difficulties and disappointments with family. While fulfilling the all-time question of mankind for “the meaning of life”, life interrupts with irony.
Dawn of Lighten Nov 2014
Oct 25th, 2014 12:00 P.M. in La Quinta Hotel in Brooklyn Park, my second day visiting Minnesota. Today I'm suppose to see my father who lives in Plymouth Minnesota, and finally see my sister and her husband who lives in New York.  I haven't seen family for a year now, but today was the day to have mother's memorial service with the family and relatives. I got into my rental car, and drove through memorable highway 169.

It was a month ago when my father told me we would have a memorial service for mother one last time, and in that phone call before he hung up, he asked me if my sister ever told me about his girl friend.  Then my old man asked me to take my mother's rings and other jewels, and carry mother's memories. I was shocked at first, and super dumbfounded. Since it was only 3 years ago mother passed away from cancer, and in my mind all I thought was "35 years of their marriage only equated to three year of mourning for my father?"  Clearing my throat to respond, and finally getting my composure together, while putting things in perspective through my head I answered honestly no! My thoughts fizzled, while it became cold and numb.  A speechless betrayal in mind, but I knew my old man was weak alone.  I remember when I used to live in Anoka Apartment in Minnesota, I visited his home in Blaine, my old man crying alone to sleep.   Maybe he has suffered enough, and thought to myself how can I judge this man, my father who lost his wife through cancer. To feel desolate for three years must of been a lonely life, and finally he has someone to fill the void he has lost.

So here I was in Minnesota, to my old man's new apartment.   After looking at the Email he sent with the address to his home on my Ipad, all I wanted was to get this over with.  Lot of memories I wanted to forget, and this gut wrenching moment that made me feel weak.  As I walk through the hallway to my father's apartment, I see an open door with the scent of Korean food!  As I enter into the Apartment, I did not see my father, but a lady who I have never met cooking in the kitchen.   Completely surprised by this unknown person, I simply said hello!  It was unexpected that this is how I would have met this person, the lady who was my father's girl friend. I knew the moment I came in, but I didn't know how I was suppose to act or respond, this lady who may take over my mother's spot.  Million things went through my head, but I knew it wasn't her fault, and she is living life like anyone in the world.  Humans live for the moment, and without taking life for granted, who am I to judge her?

In a moment of awe of the situation, I started conversation with her by asking how she met my father to how long they knew each other, and where was my father at this time.  I felt so out of place in my old man's apartment, like something was completely amiss.  Then she tells me the unspeakable that would have never crossed my mind, and tells me both will be getting married tomorrow!  Luckily for me my sister gave me a call to tell me she was lost , and no timing was greater than then.  It gave me an escape, to take a breather!  So I told my future "step mother" I needed to excuse myself, and help my sister get back on the right road.   I think I smoked about a five cigarettes in a minute outside apartment entry way, as I gave my sister the directions.

It was good to stay outside that day, it was Minnesota's finest air and sun light breeze.  It sincerely helped me cleared my mind, and when I saw my sister in the vehicle coming into the parking lot, it was extra pleasant sight to see a familiar faces. When I approached my sister's vehicle, I final saw her daughter for the first time.   As my sister and her husband walked with me to our father's apartment, I had to ask if she knew our father was getting married very next day of the memorial service.  Sure enough my sister knew, but she then tells me not to get mad, that she only knew a week in advanced. Still numb by this whole experience, all I could ask was why couldn't my own father tell me he was getting married, and as usual siding with my father my sister defends him by telling me "he probably didn't wanted us to judge him!"  Of course I would have judged him, but I would have been less angry at my old man if he came up front. As we all gathered in the apartment, we had a meal that my father's girl friend has prepared, and it was sincerely surprising to hear my sister ask questions to our future step mother of various questions I would have asked out of curiosity.   Then it dawn on me my sister knew nothing about this lady who my father was going to marry, and it became evident my sister who was closest to my father didn't know nothing, then I understood my old man was afraid that we would judge him!  

As we finished our meal, time came for us to pay our respect to my mother who laid six feet under.  How can I explain the irony of this predicament, my father's girl friend will be joining us in our mother's final yearly memorial service, and tomorrow she will marry my father!  In my mind this is the stuff you read about in fictional Hollywood scripts, or some kinda ****** reality television show, but here it was in full glory.  

I will say one thing about this lady I knew very little about, she seemed very nice, and her cooking were amazing. After clearing all the dishes, step mother grabbed my mother's memorial picture, and told us this is what our father recommend for us to bring for the service.
Continuation of the original Journal "Return to The Memory Lane, and Open Heart."
So much to write, and this isn't finished yet! I'll most likely update this with progression of the story, but I promise you it will get better! I know I could have kept this in my draft until I was finished, but I am unsure when I maybe deleting my Hello Poetry page!
Terry Collett Apr 2016
Sister Paul stops by the door of her office, and halts Anne as she crutches herself along the passage of the nursing home.

I need to have a word with you, Anne, Sister Paul says, eyeing the twelve year old girl as she rests on her crutches.

What have I done now? Anne says, gazing at the nun with a sour face.

Nothing that I am aware of, the nun says, unless you have done anything I need to know about.

Anne shakes her head, of course not, you know me Sister, butter wouldn't melt in my mouth, Anne says.

The nun holds her tongue, after the meeting with Anne a few weeks back she had come to understand Anne better, if that was possible, and came to view Anne more of an imagined daughter, than a mere child come to the nursing home to recover from the amputation, but a daughter she was glad she didn't have in reality.

Will it take long? Anne says impatiently, putting her head to one side like a bird awaiting an early morning worm.

No not long, the nun says, gazing at the girl with as much patience as she can. The nun opens her door for Anne to enter, and the the girl crutches her way past her into the small room, and sits on a chair by the desk. The nun closes the door, and sits opposite Anne.

The girl studies the nun casually. What's it about then? Anne says, sitting back in the chair, rubbing her leg stump, trying to ease away the pain.

Doctor Maggee needs to see you, Sister Paul says.

What for? The girl says, her fingers rubbing along the stump.

About your leg, the nun says.

What about my leg? And which leg? Anne says, leaning forward, eyeing the nun.

The amputated leg, the nun says.

How can he see my leg when it isn't there no more, Anne says.

Sister Paul sits stiffly, and locks her fingers together as if to form a finger church. The doctor needs to see how the stump is healing, the nun says.

I don't want no doctor to touch my leg stump, Anne says, they’ve done enough with it as it is.

He needs to examine your leg, the nun says, to make sure it is healing.

I'm not letting a male doctor touch my stump, Anne says moodily, eyeing the nun.

You will not be on your own, myself or one of the other sisters will be with you, Sister Paul says.

Anne pulls her skirt over her stump, and puts her hands in her lap. I want the Kid with me, Anne says.

The nun frowns. What Kid is this? The nun says.

Benny, my friend, my only friend in this dump, Anne says gazing at the nun.

I'm not sure that would be allowed, the nun says, flexing her fingers, staring at the girl.

Then I don't see no fecking doctor, Anne says, rising up from the chair, grabbing her crutches.

Sister Paul closes her eyes, pushing the word from her mind. Language, Anne, please, no words like that.

They both sit in a moment's silence.

I'll see what the doctor says, and if he is happy for Benny to be with you while he examines your leg, then so be it, the nun says.

Anne sits down on the chair again, puts the crutches beside her.

Are you sure Benny would want to see your leg stump? The nun says, unlocking her fingers, and putting her hands flat on the table, palms downwards.

He's seen my stump many times, Anne says.

When has he seen your stump? The nun asks.

He sees it most days, sometimes he touches it, Anne says, defiantly.  

The nun reddens, and sits up straight, and stares at the girl. Why would he want to see your leg stump and touch it? Sister Paul asks, trying to ease away the redness of her face.

I said he could; he likes to see it, and touch it; after all, he is my friend, Anne says, pulling a face, as the pain tightens in her stump.

Is it painful? Your stump? The nun asks, seeing the girl wince.

Yes most of the time, Anne says, and sometimes my feet itch, and when I go to scratch them they're not there.

It is called a phantom leg, the nun says, the nerves think the leg is still there and tells the hand to scratch.  

Anne sighs. Well can he? Can Benny come with me when the quack sees my leg stump?

The nun raises her eyebrows. She studies the girl, the way she sits, the way she looks, and stares. A defiant child, she muses, one who would need a good bit of discipline if she were a child at the Catholic school, but here in the nursing home, different rules apply. I will have to see what the doctor says, the nun says.

No Benny, he don't see my stump, the quack, Anne says.

Sister Paul sighs softly, looks at the crucifix on the wall to her left, at the Christ hanging there, hands nailed to the wooden cross. Our Lord bore His pain for us, the nun says, it is thought to be an honour to share in His suffering, and pain, the nun adds gently.

I'd rather not share in any pain, I have enough of my own, Anne says, eyeing the old plaster Christ on a wooden cross.

Perhaps the pain you have already, is sharing in our Lord's suffering, Sister Paul says.

I don't want to share His pain or suffering, Anne says angrily, I want my leg back, and no fecking pain.

The nun closes her eyes, pushes the word away from her mind. We will see what the doctor says about you having Benny with you, and I will explain to the doctor how you feel, the nun says.

Anne reaches out and touches the nun's hand. It is soft, and warm, thin and clean. All right, Anne says, let me know. She stands up, and grabs her crutches, and begins to go, releasing sister Paul’s hand.

All right, the nun says, watching the girl crutch away, eyeing the sturdiness of the child, the strength in each movement away.

The door opens, and closes.

The child has gone. Sister Paul sighs, and inwardly, softly cries.
Autumn Sep 2014
Often times upon hearing that somebody is sick, we assume that means that they are physically ill with the flu, the common cold, or some other virus going around. What we don’t realize is that people can be sick in the mind as well as in the body. I watched a young girl jump off of the 25th street bridge in the fall of last year, and that’s when I came to understand the true impact that mental illness can have on an individual. Only after witnessing this tragic event did I really start to grasp that mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia, to name a few, are just as real and draining as physical illnesses can be.
I was planning on having a fun night out with my sister. It was a couple of weeks after my eighteenth birthday and my older sister Charlotte was going to take me out for a girl’s night. Our plan was to go to Lawrence since I would be able to get into concerts and such after turning eighteen. I was really thrilled, I got ready swiftly, and I headed over to my sister’s house. I was soon disappointed though because once I arrived she didn’t want to go to Lawrence. I was of course bummed but we decided to go get pizza instead. It was on our way back from picking up pizza that we both witnessed this tragic event.
As we drove across the 25th street bridge it was rather dark and I was not paying much attention, however, Charlotte thought that she saw somebody standing on the other side of the bridge. At the time I thought for sure that she was mistaken, but she turned around the car and as we drove slowly back across the bridge, I was horror struck upon seeing that there actually was a young girl probably about my age standing there on the other side, grasping the ledge with a pale face and wide eyes.
My sister stopped the car in the middle of the road and yelled to me, “Autumn, call 911 right now!” It took me a moment to realize what was actually happening. Even as it sunk in, I did not ever imagine that she would really jump. As I fumbled with my phone trying to call 911, I could hear my sister begging and pleading for the girl to come down. At this point I was still not convinced that she would jump so I did not realize the urgency of the situation. I explained to the 911 operator that there was a girl threatening to jump off the bridge. She kept asking what street I was on but I did not know the street and I had become side tracked by listening to my sister try to coax her down. I just remember being very appalled by the girl because she was being extremely rude. I of course did not understand what would cause her to be so rude to people that were trying to save her life. At this point in my life I definitely did not think of depression as something so serious. I of course knew about it but I had never come to understand it before. I knew I had to find out the name of the street so I peeled my eyes and ears away from my sister and the girl and started sprinting down the street. I could feel the cool fall air on my hot flustered face as I was running. I know it sounds crazy but my adrenaline was rushing and I became detached from the situation during those 30 seconds of running. It was such a lovely November night and exhilaration was running through my body like a steady current. I felt like I was in a scene from a movie. I was not really that scared yet because I had already played it all out in my head. The way I pictured it, Charlotte would convince the girl to come down, cops would come and make sure that she would come down safely, we could all go our separate ways and that would be that. I’d never experienced any sort of situation like that one, so of course I had envisioned it would play out just like it would if we were in a movie.
All I remember next was being pulled out of my run by a piercing scream from my sister. I stopped and looked over and the girl was no longer standing on the ledge. It had occurred to me that she had jumped but for some reason I was still convincing myself that she was fine. Even though I knew logically that the likelihood of surviving after that kind of a fall was not of any percent, I couldn’t help but think that she might still be okay. I just had not played out that scenario in my head, so therefore it was unreal to me.
I stood there in complete and utter shock. It was as if everything around me had come to a standstill and all I could hear was the operator on the other line “Ma’am…ma’am? Are you still there? Do you know the street name ma’am?” I simply hung up. It seemed as if in a matter of seconds 12 cars were surrounding me and sirens were going off and people were shouting and I still to this day have no idea how that bridge went from being such a quiet empty place to being filled with dozens of people within seconds.  My sister was not in an emotional state to deal with what was happening so I quietly moved her car, called her husband, and talked to the cops.
For some reason I never got emotionally upset about the event. My sister to this day is dealing with PTSD and still has vivid flashbacks and reoccurring nightmares. It was only after witnessing this event and seeing the dramatic effects that it had on my sister and still continues to have on my sister, that I realized the importance of dealing with mental illnesses on the same level of urgency that we deal with physical illnesses. I have never had many mental health problems so therefore I can look at things from a broader more logical perspective. I often times learn a lot just by evaluating other people’s experiences rather than experiencing things on my own.
I can now see that when somebody has a mental illness we need to help them and we need to be patient. I think the most important thing to do is to remain kind and open minded. We need to realize that when somebody is dealing with a mental illness they do not always realize or understand that they may come off as rude or angry. What I have learned is that getting angry with somebody who has a mental illness will only escalate things further. I did a lot of research into mental illness after this event and I think the most important thing to remember is that just because you don’t understand mental illnesses from a personal viewpoint, does not mean that you can’t be knowledgeable about such illnesses and learn to deal with them in a helpful and compassionate way. I think another important thing to mention as I bring this story to a close is that there may not be a logical reason as to why horrible things like these happen, but that doesn’t mean that we have to create one. By this, I mean we should not place the blame on ourselves because that is just as illogical as jumping off of a bridge.
JP Feb 2019
Oh sister sister
Do you really need
A mister
To make you feel whole?
Oh sister sister
Do you really need
A mister
To make you feel complete?
Oh sister sister
Do you really need
A mister
To make you feel good?
Oh sister sister
I thought you were
So much better
I guess I was wrong.
Tylese Oct 2018
The little girl just stood there,
staring at the woman,
they were laughing,
they were talking about the little girl.

Her big sister was making fun of her,
the little girl felt betrayed,
she went to her room crying,
for her big sister was her role model,
her big sister was popular, pretty, smart and talented.

The big sister noticed,
she followed her little sister back into her bedroom,
she apologised,
"for that's what people talk about,
you aren't annoying, you're amazing".

The little girl fell asleep happily,
whilst her big sister and her friends were snorting...candy,
one of the girls grabbed a knife and went to the little girl,
their hand couldn't move closer to the girl.

The friend turned around to see the sister behind her,
asking what she was doing,
the little girl awoke,
she was crying,
the knife flew out of the friend's hand and slowly went to the sister.

The friend left as the big sister went to the little girl,
"I'm so sorry" she pleaded,
the little girl whispered "It's okay, you protected me"
the big sister nodded as she arose the knife...
the next thing you know,
there was a four-year-old with a dagger through the back of her head.
Aztec Warrior Jun 2016
The Stanford **** Case
Statement from the Young Woman Who Was *****
June 10, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |

Editors Note: The following harrowing and courageous "victim impact" statement was read in court by the woman who was assaulted and ***** by ex-Stanford student Brock Turner. It has been released widely and is reposting it here. As Sunsara Taylor said in "The Stanford **** Outrage: Reason Enough to Make Revolution": "Her letter is 13 pages long and everyone should read it. In its entirety. Out loud. In classrooms. In church groups. In families. On sports teams. On air. Her pain must be seen. Her battle against despair must be supported. Her courage must be multiplied."*

Your Honor, if it is all right, for the majority of this statement I would like to address the defendant directly.
You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.

On January 17th, 2015, it was a quiet Saturday night at home. My dad made some dinner and I sat at the table with my younger sister who was visiting for the weekend. I was working full time and it was approaching my bed time. I planned to stay at home by myself, watch some TV and read, while she went to a party with her friends.

Then, I decided it was my only night with her, I had nothing better to do, so why not, there’s a dumb party ten minutes from my house, I would go, dance like a fool, and embarrass my younger sister. On the way there, I joked that undergrad guys would have braces. My sister teased me for wearing a beige cardigan to a frat party like a librarian. I called myself “big mama”, because I knew I’d be the oldest one there. I made silly faces, let my guard down, and drank liquor too fast not factoring in that my tolerance had significantly lowered since college.

The next thing I remember I was in a gurney in a hallway. I had dried blood and bandages on the backs of my hands and elbow. I thought maybe I had fallen and was in an admin office on campus. I was very calm and wondering where my sister was. A deputy explained I had been assaulted. I still remained calm, assured he was speaking to the wrong person. I knew no one at this party.

When I was finally allowed to use the rest room, I pulled down the hospital pants they had given me, went to pull down my underwear, and felt nothing. I still remember the feeling of my hands touching my skin and grabbing nothing. I looked down and there was nothing. The thin piece of fabric, the only thing between my ****** and anything else, was missing and everything inside me was silenced. I still don’t have words for that feeling. In order to keep breathing, I thought maybe the policemen used scissors to cut them off for evidence.

Then, I felt pine needles scratching the back of my neck and started pulling them out my hair. I thought maybe, the pine needles had fallen from a tree onto my head. My brain was talking my gut into not collapsing. Because my gut was saying, help me, help me.

I shuffled from room to room with a blanket wrapped around me, pine needles trailing behind me, I left a little pile in every room I sat in. I was asked to sign papers that said “**** Victim” and I thought something has really happened.

My clothes were confiscated and I stood naked while the nurses held a ruler to various abrasions on my body and photographed them. The three of us worked to comb the pine needles out of my hair, six hands to fill one paper bag. To calm me down, they said it’s just the flora and fauna, flora and fauna. I had multiple swabs inserted into my ****** and ****, needles for shots, pills, had a Nikon pointed right into my *******. I had long, pointed beaks inside me and had my ****** smeared with cold, blue paint to check for abrasions.

After a few hours of this, they let me shower. I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided, I don’t want my body anymore. I was terrified of it, I didn’t know what had been in it, if it had been contaminated, who had touched it. I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else.

On that morning, all that I was told was that I had been found behind a dumpster, potentially penetrated by a stranger, and that I should get retested for *** because results don’t always show up immediately. But for now, I should go home and get back to my normal life. Imagine stepping back into the world with only that information. They gave me huge hugs and I walked out of the hospital into the parking lot wearing the new sweatshirt and sweatpants they provided me, as they had only allowed me to keep my necklace and shoes.

My sister picked me up, face wet from tears and contorted in anguish. Instinctively and immediately, I wanted to take away her pain. I smiled at her, I told her to look at me, I’m right here, I’m okay, everything’s okay, I’m right here. My hair is washed and clean, they gave me the strangest shampoo, calm down, and look at me. Look at these funny new sweatpants and sweatshirt, I look like a P.E. teacher, let’s go home, let’s eat something. She did not know that beneath my sweatsuit, I had scratches and bandages on my skin, my ****** was sore and had become a strange, dark colour from all the prodding, my underwear was missing, and I felt too empty to continue to speak. That I was also afraid, that I was also devastated. That day we drove home and for hours in silence my younger sister held me.
My boyfriend did not know what happened, but called that day and said, “I was really worried about you last night, you scared me, did you make it home okay?” I was horrified. That’s when I learned I had called him that night in my blackout, left an incomprehensible voicemail, that we had also spoken on the phone, but I was slurring so heavily he was scared for me, that he repeatedly told me to go find [my sister]. Again, he asked me, “What happened last night? Did you make it home okay?” I said yes, and hung up to cry.

I was not ready to tell my boyfriend or parents that actually, I may have been ***** behind a dumpster, but I don’t know by who or when or how. If I told them, I would see the fear on their faces, and mine would multiply by tenfold, so instead I pretended the whole thing wasn’t real.
I tried to push it out of my mind, but it was so heavy I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone.

After work, I would drive to a secluded place to scream. I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone, and I became isolated from the ones I loved most. For over a week after the incident, I didn’t get any calls or updates about that night or what happened to me. The only symbol that proved that it hadn’t just been a bad dream, was the sweatshirt from the hospital in my drawer.

One day, I was at work, scrolling through the news on my phone, and came across an article. In it, I read and learned for the first time about how I was found unconscious, with my hair dishevelled, long necklace wrapped around my neck, bra pulled out of my dress, dress pulled off over my shoulders and pulled up above my waist, that I was **** naked all the way down to my boots, legs spread apart, and had been penetrated by a foreign object by someone I did not recognise.

This was how I learned what happened to me, sitting at my desk reading the news at work. I learned what happened to me the same time everyone else in the world learned what happened to me. That’s when the pine needles in my hair made sense, they didn’t fall from a tree. He had taken off my underwear, his fingers had been inside of me. I don’t even know this person. I still don’t know this person. When I read about me like this, I said, this can’t be me, this can’t be me. I could not digest or accept any of this information. I could not imagine my family having to read about this online. I kept reading. In the next paragraph, I read something that I will never forgive; I read that according to him, I liked it. I liked it. Again, I do not have words for these feelings.

It’s like if you were to read an article where a car was hit, and found dented, in a ditch. But maybe the car enjoyed being hit. Maybe the other car didn’t mean to hit it, just bump it up a little bit. Cars get in accidents all the time, people aren’t always paying attention, can we really say who’s at fault.

And then, at the bottom of the article, after I learned about the graphic details of my own ****** assault, the article listed his swimming times. She was found breathing, unresponsive with her underwear six inches away from her bare stomach curled in fetal position. By the way, he’s really good at swimming. Throw in my mile time if that’s what we’re doing. I’m good at cooking, put that in there, I think the end is where you list your extracurriculars to cancel out all the sickening things that’ve happened.
The night the news came out I sat my parents down and told them that I had been assaulted, to not look at the news because it’s upsetting, just know that I’m okay, I’m right here, and I’m okay. But halfway through telling them, my mom had to hold me because I could no longer stand up.

The night after it happened, he said he didn’t know my name, said he wouldn’t be able to identify my face in a line-up, didn’t mention any dialogue between us, no words, only dancing and kissing. Dancing is a cute term; was it snapping fingers and twirling dancing, or just bodies grinding up against each other in a crowded room? I wonder if kissing was just faces sloppily pressed up against each other? When the detective asked if he had planned on taking me back to his dorm, he said no. When the detective asked how we ended up behind the dumpster, he said he didn’t know.

He admitted to kissing other girls at that party, one of whom was my own sister who pushed him away. He admitted to wanting to hook up with someone. I was the wounded antelope of the herd, completely alone and vulnerable, physically unable to fend for myself, and he chose me.

Sometimes I think, if I hadn’t gone, then this never would’ve happened. But then I realized, it would have happened, just to somebody else. You were about to enter four years of access to drunk girls and parties, and if this is the foot you started off on, then it is right you did not continue. The night after it happened, he said he thought I liked it because I rubbed his back. A back rub.

Never mentioned me voicing consent, never mentioned us even speaking, a back rub. One more time, in public news, I learned that my *** and ****** were completely exposed outside, my ******* had been groped, fingers had been jabbed inside me along with pine needles and debris, my bare skin and head had been rubbing against the ground behind a dumpster, while an ***** freshman was ******* my half naked, unconscious body. But I don’t remember, so how do I prove I didn’t like it.

I thought there’s no way this is going to trial; there were witnesses, there was dirt in my body, he ran but was caught. He’s going to settle, formally apologize, and we will both move on. Instead, I was told he hired a powerful lawyer, expert witnesses, private investigators who were going to try and find details about my personal life to use against me, find loopholes in my story to invalidate me and my sister, in order to show that this ****** assault was in fact a misunderstanding. That he was going to go to any length to convince the world he had simply been confused.

I was not only told that I was assaulted, I was told that because I couldn’t remember, I technically could not prove it was unwanted. And that distorted me, damaged me, almost broke me. It is the saddest type of confusion to be told I was assaulted and nearly *****, blatantly out in the open, but we don’t know if it counts as assault yet. I had to fight for an entire year to make it clear that there was something wrong with this situation.

When I was told to be prepared in case we didn’t win, I said, I can’t prepare for that. He was guilty the minute I woke up. No one can talk me out of the hurt he caused me. Worst of all, I was warned, because he now knows you don’t remember, he is going to get to write the script. He can say whatever he wants and no one can contest it. I had no power, I had no voice, I was defenseless. My memory loss would be used against me. My testimony was weak, was incomplete, and I was made to believe that perhaps, I am not enough to win this. His lawyer constantly reminded the jury, the only one we can believe is Brock, because she doesn’t remember. That helplessness was traumatizing.

Instead of taking time to heal, I was taking time to recall the night in excruciating detail, in order to prepare for the attorney’s questions that would be invasive, aggressive, and designed to steer me off course, to contradict myself, my sister, phrased in ways to manipulate my answers. Instead of his lawyer saying, Did you notice any abrasions? He said, You didn’t notice any abrasions, right?

This was a game of strategy, as if I could be tricked out of my own worth. The ****** assault had been so clear, but instead, here I was at the trial, answering questions like:
How old are you? How much do you weigh? What did you eat that day? Well what did you have for dinner? Who made dinner? Did you drink with dinner? No, not even water? When did you drink? How much did you drink? What container did you drink out of? Who gave you the drink? How much do you usually drink? Who dropped you off at this party? At what time? But where exactly? What were you wearing? Why were you going to this party? What’d you do when you got there? Are you sure you did that? But what time did you do that? What does this text mean? Who were you texting? When did you urinate? Where did you urinate? With whom did you urinate outside?

Was your phone on silent when your sister called? Do you remember silencing it? Really because on page 53 I’d like to point out that you said it was set to ring. Did you drink in college? You said you were a party animal? How many times did you black out? Did you party at frats? Are you serious with your boyfriend? Are you sexually active with him? When did you start dating? Would you ever cheat? Do you have a history of cheating? What do you mean when you said you wanted to reward him? Do you remember what time you woke up? Were you wearing your cardigan? What colour was your cardigan? Do you remember any more from that night? No? Okay, well, we’ll let Brock fill it in.

I was pommeled with narrowed, pointed questions that dissected my personal life, love life, past life, family life, inane questions, accumulating trivial details to try and find an excuse for this guy who had me half naked before even bothering to ask for my name. After a physical assault, I was assaulted with questions designed to attack me, to say see, her facts don’t line up, she’s out of her mind, she’s practically an alcoholic, she probably wanted to hook up, he’s like an athlete right, they were both drunk, whatever, the hospital stuff she remembers is after the fact, why take it into account, Brock has a lot at stake so he’s having a really hard time right now.

And then it came time for him to testify and I learned what it meant to be revictimized. I want to remind you, the night after it happened he said he never planned to take me back to his dorm. He said he didn’t know why we were behind a dumpster. He got up to leave because he wasn’t feeling well when he was suddenly chased and attacked. Then he learned I could not remember.

So one year later, as predicted, a new dialogue emerged. Brock had a strange new story, almost sounded like a poorly written young adult novel with kissing and dancing and hand holding and lovingly tumbling onto the ground, and most importantly in this new story, there was suddenly consent. One year after the incident, he remembered, oh yeah, by the way she actually said yes, to everything, so.

He said he had asked if I wanted to dance. Apparently I said yes. He’d asked if I wanted to go to his dorm, I said yes. Then he asked if he could finger me and I said yes. Most guys don’t ask, can I finger you? Usually there’s a natural progression of things, unfolding consensually, not a Q and A. But apparently I granted full permission. He’s in the cl
it has taken me days to shake out the feelings I have around this case and that one of every 4 women are *****, abuse assaulted in their life time.. think about that for a moment.. 1 out of every 4... this means almost everyone knows someone or has been through what the young woman is describing in her statement read in court.. there is no "buts" in this case, and if anyone has to come up with some kind of "but" then unfriend or follow me right now as I will not tolerate any excuses or apologies for these horrific attacks on half of  humanity, along with this I would add a ******* as well... the voice of this woman needs to be heard everywhere... repost, twitter etc etc everywhere...
Terry Collett Nov 2015
God’s way is hard
Sheila’s big sister said
but that is what
I want to do

and be a nun
Sheila tied her school tie
and let her sister yak
in the background

to her thoughts of John
and pretended he
had been there
in her bedroom

as she had dressed
(not watching her sister)
his hazel eyes
scanning her she imagined

especially after
her strip wash
not sure which convent yet
the sister went on

but one strict
and far from human
touch or noise
Sheila stood in front

of the dressing table mirror
and gazed at herself
pushing her sister’s words
from her as best she could

but if John
had been scanning her
she knew she’d have blushed
and hid her naked self

with a towel or dressing gown
despite one part of herself
thinking it
and boys

the sister said
have to be watched
they are usually after
the one thing

Sheila damped a finger
with her tongue
and slid across an eyebrow

she said
what do you mean
one thing?
o never you mind

that now little sister
just trust to God
and put boys aside
the sister brushed her hair

and set herself
up primly
with the grey dress
thing though

Sheila said
what thing?
ask Mum she’ll say
I expect

the sister said dully
and went out the room
like some drabness on legs
Sheila sighed

and gazed at herself
in the mirror again
adjusted her glasses
on her nose

and thought on John
being at school
and thought unkindly
her sister the fool.
Jane Harper Apr 2016
So let me start my story
In a very scary place.
There was once a young girl
Who never saw His face.
She lived her life in fear and
Tore herself apart.
She had a smile on her face but
A scar on her heart.
She had no one to trust,
No hand to hold when frightened.
She lived in the dark and
Hoped it would soon brighten.
She soon found that someone but
That someone's not a mister.
She found someone's love and
That person was her big sister.
Her sister loved her more than
Anyone she knew.
Her sister made her happy and
Always knew what to do.
When the girl was afraid,
Her sister showed her the light.
When the girl was upset,
Her sister helped her through the night.
The girl connected to her sister
Through a wonderful dance class.
Her sister showed her peace and
Promised the pain wouldn't last.
The girl was fighting a silent battle that
Her sister could understand.
The girl soon opened up and
Her sister showed her an awesome man.
This man has special powers and
Love to change lives.
The man loved the girl and
The girl forfeited her knives.

Now that we've made it to
The time in which we stand,
You must understand
Who I actually am.
I am the girl,
The one who loves her sister.
I have one last thing to do and
That is to ditch her.
She is the old me,
The one who hid her face.
I'm so thankful to you for
Showing me God's grace.
You've influenced my relationship
With the Kind of Earth and Heaven.
You mean more to me than
Lucky number seven.
Here's one more thing,
A question of glee.
Dear Miss,
Will You...
Unknown Feb 2020
“Are you Proud?”

Are you proud, proud of the thing you created?
Are you happy, knowing your little girl, your middle daughter is breaking?
Are you excited, when I can hear you in what is supposed to the safety of my home, yelling?
Are you glad, when I cower in fear beneath my blankets, because I can’t stand the screams?
Are you euphoric, when I blend into the silence in between your conversations because that is where I feel safest?
Are you okay, when I say “I’m fine,” with a smile so wide it hurts and my eyes go dull?
Are you alright, as unknown to you I have monsters in my closet that comfort me more than you ever will, when you scream and shout at one another?

Are you Proud?

Do you sleep well at night, knowing that the sister I have grown up with hates me?
Do you go about your day, knowing that I don’t want to suffer any longer but for some reason I still do?
Do you relax well in the comfort of the couch, knowing that what little life I have left in me is feeble and fading?
Do you wake up in the morning believing the lies I tell you to keep you happy?
Do you know that reason I smile and make jokes is so I can keep the attention off of myself and not crumble beneath your expectations?
Do you realize that everything I do is to make life easier for you?
Don’t you see how I try to be mature because my father is an alcoholic child, my mother acts like violence is the answer to disobedience, my little sister hates every fiber of my being because I’m “not suffering like she is”, my big sister acts like she knows what she’s doing like she is perfect and that anything and everything we will ever to is against her.

Are you Proud?

Father, know that I don’t blame you for the things you have done to us.
Know that I don’t blame you for the cigarettes smoked on the couch nor  the boxes of beer your drink.
Father, I want to love you but I need to know you love me too, before you break what little of me is left.
Know that I wouldn’t blame you if you chose to do so.
Father, I know life is hard, especially for you but I am begging you, don’t make life impossible for me.
Know that every shout that escaped your lips is another cut that scars my skin.
Father, I love you, but I don’t know how long such words will last before they become the lies that I tell myself as I cry silently and alone in the dead of night.

Mother, know that I don’t blame you for the things you did to us.
Know that I don’t blame you for the slaps, the punches or the ignorance as to how and what we feel.
Mother, I want to love you but I need to know that you love all of us.
Know that I can’t blame you if one day you decided not to love me anymore because of something I did.
Mother, I know life is hard, we’ve heard your stories time and time again.
Know that every tear that escapes your eyes because of something I did, is another night I spend hating myself for being pain upon you.
Mother, I love you, but I love Father as well, and I need to know you won’t make me choose between the two of you.

Big sister, know that I don’t blame you for running away.
Know that I don’t blame you for all the times a fight has started because you were mentioned.
Big sister, I want to love you but I need to know that you still think of us as family.
Know that I just want all of us to be happy, together.
Big sister, I want to love you but I need to know that you won’t blame or hate us at every turn.

Little sister, know that I don’t blame you for hating me, truly I hate myself as well.
Know that I don’t blame you for all the things you’ve said to and about me, all the things you’ve done to me.
Little sister, I want to love you but I need to know that you won’t scream or shout every time I try to comfort you.
Know that I wouldn’t blame you if one day you decided to kick me out of your life and ignore my existence entirely.
Little sister, I know life is hard, especially in the world that we live in today but I am begging you, do not push me so close to the edge only to laugh as I jump off the edge and hope for release from your torment.
Know that every insult, every joke about me being the favorite child, every glare cuts deeper and deeper, and I fear my only choice is to lay down my life and bleed out from the wounds that you have inflicted upon me.
Little sister, I love you, but I don’t know how long I can keep telling myself that when you do nothing but prove my words to be untrue.

Are you Proud?

Father, Are you Proud of the way we cower in fear when you begin to yell?
But I don’t blame you for doing so.

Mother, Are you Proud of the way you stress us with your expectations?
But know I don’t blame you for wanting the best for us.

Big sister, Are you Proud of the way that you left us without you?
But know I don’t blame you for wanting to escape.

Little sister, Are you Proud of the way that your words hurt me so?
But know I don’t blame you for hating me.

Are you Proud?

Dear future me, know that I won’t blame you if you don’t make it to  18 years of age because you couldn’t handle life anymore and you chose to take refuge in the comforting embrace of death.
Know that I won’t blame you for all the bad choices that you are bound to make because of what I do now that makes your life miserable.
Dear future me, I want to love you, but I’m not sure I can. I have no idea, none that I could even fathom as to what kind of person you will be, I want to be proud of you but knowing me, I’ll never be proud of you.
Know that I don’t blame you if you resent me, I don’t resent the younger person I used to be, rather it’s pity that a child so small grew up to be such a disappointment.
Dear future me, I know that life is hard, believe me I know, I can only imagine how much worse it’s going to get for you,  so future me, no matter how close you are to today, thank you for waking up in the morning.
Know that every up has a down, but not every down has an up. Not all even plots of earth stays flat and earthquakes are bound to happen.
Dear future me, I love you, you might not believe it but I do. Know that no matter how much you hate yourself, I love you. I love you for waking up in the morning, for getting through each and every day even when it feels like there is a weight on your entire body that you never get used to. Still, know that as of today, the younger version of you truly loves you no matter how much you grow to despise your every fiber of your existence.

Dear dead me, death is not something that one can escape, so thank you for holding out for  however long you did. I have only two things to ask you.

1) Did I die on my own terms? Because I refuse to be a byproduct of something out of my control. And secondly...

Are you Proud?
For my sister who is not biologically my sister.
For my sister who has helped me through so much.
You, the beautiful creature who has time and time again cleaned my blood off the bathroom floor, bandaged my wrists, and stayed up all night to keep me alive.
You, the magnificent woman who gets put down everyday.

For my sister who is not legally my sister.
You, who has been more maternal and has shown me more love than my own mother ever has.
Who has stuck her fingers down my throat and made me wretch up the bottle of pills that I swallowed because I thought they would take me to a place that would make me happy.
You who has loved me more than I love myself.

For my sister who’s favorite type of alcohol is *****.
You who drinks it not because you love the taste, but because you drink it for the punishing bitter taste of it.
You who drinks it to forget your father who never really acted like a father.

For my sister who starves herself every day because her mother told her that she would prettier if she was thinner.
You who is the most loving person I know, that does not think she is worthy of love.
You, the most empowering person I know, who cannot empower herself right now.

For my sister who is currently lying in a hospital bed right now because I was not there for her.
You look so thin and fragile among the blankets and IV tubes. If you were conscious right now, you would say that you look like a lesbian in your hospital gown.
For the teenage girl who has seen more of hell than she has heaven, and still manages to be an angel to everyone she meets.

For my sister who is not in any way, shape or form related to me.
You have been more of family to me than I will ever know.
Copyright © 2015 by Kathleen McSweeney
Gypsy Aug 2018
So I was given the right to be the one you fight...
That keeps you up at night!
That helps you in a fight, keep off my
Sister, that's right!
That eats up all your food when I might be
Growing some more in life!
Sister's of mine oh sister's be kind...
Or adopted...
Of all colors, shapes and size...
Sister's from other mother's
God alike!
Big sister, Little sister
I love you
And you are mine...
To be my friend and love of the sister kind!
To fight
Kick my behind!
Love you little sister...
Let no man take your shine!
Smile my Love
Leave all your care behind...
Big sister is never far behind...
To All of my Sisters!
Eric W Jan 2014
Dear Sister,
Not Jessica, never Jessica
because we were never on a first name basis.
It was always so much more,
My wonderful sister,
you have been my mother, my guide,
my friend, my crying shoulder, my rock,
my humor, my support. You have been
My sister.
And my only regret is that I can't be more,
I'm sorry.
Oh, Sister,
how I look back on our memories with such fondness.
The laughs we shared, the wonderful books,
and mind-blowing smoke.
The long talks about philosophy and politics.
We have always been ahead in those regards,
haven't we?
My lovely sister,
you took my hand when I was lost, when life
had become too much for me,
and showed me the path. You set me up
to become who I am, and who I will be.
I know you are proud.
You helped me discover what was important,
guided my moral compass when I trespassed,
taught me to love.
You made me see
things I never would have alone,
and consider ideas that the general public
frown upon. We've always been ahead.
Oh, Sister. My Sister.
May you live on
In my heart, and through me,
in the hearts of others who know not of
your presence,
dear sister.

— The End —