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The Year My Sister Came to Live with Me

Laura Lush
From:   The First Day of Winter. (Ronsdale Press, 1997).


The year my sister came to live with me, she brought
two cats, no money, ten years of experience
in the mental health field, a dozen pair of sports
bras, a book called When The Worst Thing That
Has Happened To You Happens
. It did.
The year my sister came to live with me, she’d
just come home from another heartbreak.
Me too. I came home drunk every Friday night,
took up Tai Chi, step dancing, rowing for singles.
The year my sister came to live with me, she took up
Massage, gave me “freebies” in exchange for rent,
told me my body was holding grief, like some large
animal stopping the mouth of a black black cave.
I got my first cat, signed my free-loving
Independence away for good.
She got a job bathing a brain-damaged taxi driver,
lifting twenty-pound trays over her shoulder
while a guy named Karl yelled “Faster! Faster!”
The year my sister came to live with me, all the planets
Converged, the moon, lopsided, hung
above our bedroom window while Hale-Bop
flashed across the thin line of sky.
I went to Ireland, England, came back again, found my sister
Still sitting at the kitchen table.
I finally had to pay her to leave.
The year my sister left,
I wept for three days, missed her the way I had missed
all the great loves of my life.
Until finally, I learned as with the rest of them
How to hold the best of her deep inside,
neither whole nor broken,
but just there.


Laura Lush's works copyright © to the author.


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