Friday, October 22, 2010

Poetry Friday: Happy Birthday, Sis

Don’t get me wrong, I love my three brothers.

Now.

When I was eleven—and they were 8, 6, and 2, and said my name so that it sounded like the noise a cow makes, and got into my stuff, and made fun of my developing breasts—not so much.

But just before I turned 12, I learned my mom was pregnant again. The idea that the childhood torture would continue indefinitely, was too much to bear. I became pro-active. I wished, I prayed, I cajoled God with promises of perfect behavior. Every day I wore something pink. It worked. (Don’t TELL me genetics was at work. I know what I know.) On October 18, 1962, I ceased to be the only daughter in the family.

So Happy Birthday to my sister, Marie-Ann. I always say she was worth the wait. And, I can’t imagine life without her, any more than I can imagine a salt free diet.

Love Like Salt

by Lisel Mueller

It lies in our hands in crystals
too intricate to decipher

It goes into the skillet
without being given a second thought

It spills on the floor so fine
we step all over it

We carry a pinch behind each eyeball

It breaks out on our foreheads

We store it inside our bodies
in secret wineskins

At supper, we pass it around the table
talking of holidays and the sea.


This week’s Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted by Mary Ann (Great Kid Books). Stop by!

3 comments:

I'm Jet . . . said...

Happy Birthday, Marie Ann!

Andy said...

Wonderful choice of poem, Mur!

Is there anything more complicated but at the same time as easy as a sister relationship? I've said it before and I'll say it again (and again and again), I don't know what I'd do without my sisters. (Both my birth sisters, and my sisters-of-choice.)

Happy Birthday to Marie-Ann!

Marion Eldridge said...

Lovely post, Muriel! My sister is older than I am, but I really felt what you wrote at the beginning.

Happy Birthday, Marie Ann!