My First Sister


I don’t remember

exactly how I felt

when Katie came.

Barely two,

I am sure,

that suspicion

mingled with joy,

joy winning out.


Ever since,

Katie stays close,

although she lives

too many miles away.


I was cruel,

when we were young,

the teasing I inflicted,

maybe normal,

as sister fare,

but I am still



We’ve come through

the deepest loss,

sharing grief

that sisters know,

daughters, too.

And when we say goodbye,

after yearly reunions,

I’m always blasted by

the void left

by her absence:

there’s never enough time

any more.



gives without glitter,

without noise,

her wisdom necessary.

As I rant,

she affirms.

As I cry,

she allows.

As I laugh,

she comes with me,

and that is when

I must be remembering,

in my bones,

being two,

discovering that,

(once past the suspicion),


was going to be,

my first sister.

IMG_0237Happy Birthday, Katie O!


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