Saturday, May 27, 2006

Underling

A candle burnt through the night
Beneath the sheets I slipped my small hand
Into my big sister's much larger one
There was a cease-fire. It would be over by morning
We had no need for sleep, we only
Peered at one another in the hot, dark cavity
Beneath the blanket. It was midsummer night
And I saw beads of sweat on her high, dark brow
An aristocratic forehead, they used to say
But that was another day – before the occupation
A terrible fear washed over me, and left its residue
I was one with my sister, until she turned away
I dreaded daybreak, when I would be alone once again

It was winter now. There was nothing more we could do
I failed my sister and I would never be forgiven
Her picture was embedded firmly in my head
That girl with the honey-coloured hair
We whirled around the office, tearing open drawers
Some underling approached me, a leather bound book
Clutched in her hand. My face paled, my heart pounding
Then I sat, numbed, the diary resting on my lap
My underling hovered. ‘You will never understand’
I told her silently. But then she wrapped her arms around me
‘Your sister’s not dead, she lingers on. Those pages are her.'
And then I knew: this woman truly understood
Probably more than I ever would

3 Comments:

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