This repost is directly in response to a thread on the Mythic Cafe. And a personal favorite because it reminds me of when the relationship I had with my favorite sister began to heal; a relationship that has come miles from that writing. Not that either of us have changed much, we just stopped being afraid and started listening.
“Do you remember,” she said
as her arm about to launch yet another loose pebble missile
at some poor unsuspecting scrub pine
was stayed by her lost reverie
and the army of hair on my own arm paused at attention in the warm Sonoran wind.
This trip was my idea.
A chance for sisters lost to each other in all but fact
to find a place where more than genes connected us
But it was all I had done that day,
Like a second generation survivor of a homeland war
picking daisies in a field
never knowing if the next step,
the final flower in my fists of sunny reminiscence
would blast a leg or arm or life away.
“Where have all the graveyards gone ?
gone to flowers everyone
when will they ever learn
when will they…. ” I sing in my head.
Sometimes I think I am the only one who remembers.
“Do you remenber how weird you were when you were little?
always seeing things that were not there…”
that you were the most beautiful creature in the world
and so old and wise, two years my senior
omniscient in your understanding of our parents world
and prone to loathe the intrusions of this smaller sibling
with her stories of the faerykin;
Crazy Claudia Klutz was one of your kinder names.
I also remember
hiding hours in the dark behind the laundry
beneath the bed
whispering secret stories to you so you wouldn’t scream,
wouldn’t give away our refuge to the realtime demon Dad;
I remember singing spur of the moment lullabies
Till you would fall sleep,
your perfect golden curls in my lap.
And the next day at school you would pretend
that you didn’t even know me.
Yes, I remember.
“Do you remember the fight about the rocks,
you said that just because I couldn’t speak their language
didn’t mean they couldn’t talk.”
I sit taller, not speaking, eyes ahead.
Is that the old derision that I hear?
I wonder again why I did this to myself;
Planned this trip,
Brought her here,
Here where the rocks spoke solace to the deepest wounds I bore.
Why have I chosen to bare my tender sensibilities to
Her rigid Christian credo and her steel sharp sword of reason?
“Not here, not now, Goddess, I beg you…
please don’t let her break the magic of this place..”
but I speak only in my head,
my eyes turn slowly towards my tormentor
shallow breath my only concession to presence.
“Do you remember
how you said everything had spirit?
And I couldn’t hear your rocks
I wouldn’t listen.”
She turns her face to me
a tear clearing the tiny trenches half a century can make upon a face
wets the granite offering
cradled in her hand.
“You have no idea what your crazy stories meant to me,”
Shy she dropped her eyes and stared at the stone in her hand
transformed to art from weapon
held it for a moment to her ear,
seeking some rumble of distant glacial source,
like the conch shells in my desert home remember ocean;
“I’m listening now,” she said and smiled.
place of healing
so was I.