And a happy birthday to my sister. Here she is at her first wedding.
Today is her birthday and I texted her a Happy Birthday well-wish – unadorned except for a heart – and she responded a plain, ‘Thanks.’ Even if I’d followed this response with chit-chat I doubt that more about her day, her celebration, thoughts, feelings would be revealed.
To be or not to be – a sister. That may be the question. Depending upon the mood, the circumstances, the answers vary.
We are always ‘being’ something… animal, vegetable or mineral. Minerals appear static but I can’t quite accept that they are. Perhaps they’re enormously patient. Seeing us scurry for bits of them that we call rare or valuable. Often turning the continents upside down to wrench them out of their nesting. Same for vegetable and animals.
Here’s a poem I wrote after my sister and I were estranged. Or should say after my sister and our parents were estranged. I was included in the outcome. Sometime I’ll write about what happened – according to my heart – but for now, will not.
They brought her to the waiting room crying
and cries on the ride home.
She cries as her new daddy kisses her red-fisted face
and cries as her new mommy wraps her in a pink blanket.
I sing her all the lullabies I know
and whisper her name so she’ll remember.
I tell her that she’s ours
and promise to wait for her to love us.
There’s a picture of her in a dressy dress
trying to pet a kitten who doesn’t want her touch.
She looks to the camera and is surprised
to see us watching her cuteness.
I wait on the sidewalk by her stroller
while mommy buys something special.
I want my sister to see only smiles
on the faces who stop by to look.
Then she’s in first grade
then she’s in high school
then she’s a graduate
then she’s a bride.
But she doesn’t trust
that we love, I love, she is loved.
Her birthdays now come and go.
The holidays are empty of her.
The calendars never mark her visits.
Sister is a word for someone who
may love you or may not.
We never know.
/jk © 2010
Dianne as Matron of Honor at my wedding ca. 1994