An ode to my sister

sistersTwo circles traced in the sand by a wistful finger,
Half burned candle forever stuck inside grandma’s candle holder,
A pair of reading glasses resting on your dog-eared copy of Wuthering Heights,
A balmy conversation shared over a hearty meal of vegetable kofta and rice,
Something’s are just meant to go together; like a thread through the needle’s eye.

You and me only a few years apart. “Why did I follow” you ask?
How else would I lay claim on all your childhood toys, even your one-eyed
plastic doll the one whose eye you filled out with a black felt pen.
We were four braided pig tails, four blinking eyes, two impish heads lying side by side staring at the ceiling, wondering how we could cover it with the star studded sky.

Do you remember those endless nights rehearsing your Shakespearean school play? “To be or not to be”, was never a question you asked again. You always knew what you wanted, even when you said “I have no clue”, and how often you said it too? The sturdy doll house you built for me out of cardboard and keen imagination. No scissors and glue can build a childhood haunt that sturdy. I still owe you a “thank you”.

You saved the few shillings we got for pocket money in some piggy bank hidden far out of sight. Yet you always had enough to buy us a treat after school; an ice-cream for you and candies for me. And on the way back home you would share stories you read in class. And oh the stories you would conjure, I soared like a bird in each one.

We crawled on our knees raiding Tutenkhamen’s grave in our mere wall-papered bedroom, and sailed the lost city of Atlantis in our bath tub using spoons for oars. The street lamp outside our room shone brighter than full moon through the wooden slats of our window shutters,
throwing silver ribbons of light that always guided us safely back to home. We were savages who plundered books for adventure. Imagination is an endless playground for the young.

Adventure we found like all who grow up to live their life. We were two circles traced in the sand; delicate and precious. Like sugar cookies cut out of the same dough. Something’s are just meant to go together, dear sister, so I followed you into life like a thread through a needle’s eye.

What happened to Max?

Teddy BearShe laid her claim on Max,
Eagerly pulled him off the racks,
The moment they first met, inside the underbelly of Hertie,
Mama’s favorite department store in Germany.

A white furry Teddy bear him,
And pig-tailed, brown eyed girl she,
Became best friends and buddies,
She was six and he was fresh off the racks,

He followed her everywhere,
On her Odyssey to the deep jungles of Amazon,
Shipwrecked with her on the man-eating island no other would dare,
She sowed a web of stories and he played each character with a flair.

She turned girly by thirteen,
Painted her nails and wore designer jeans,
Invited the girls to her pajama parties,
But Max was in on all her schemes.

By sixteen she drifted into a new world,
High school and boys, a new life unfurled,
Max moved into a dark closet,
His position usurped.

And the day came, when she left abroad for college,
By now Max had weathered hands of time,
Washed and dried and stitched with patches,
Max stayed behind.

She flew the world and lived her dreams,
And came back home four years later,
Midst joy and tears and crushing embraces,
By nightfall she had talked herself weary,

And retired to her room, she searched,
Inside cupboards and closets, the old attic upstairs,
but failed to find, her childhood friend and buddy,
And wondered in dismay, “Whatever happened to Max?”

Inspired by Daily Post

I sold my little sister

Girl with the dog

I sold my little sister,
When I was seven and she a wailing two
She kept us up with cries all night,
Her tangled hair and clumsy walk,
Her yellow dress, and squeaky shoes.

My mother made me watch over her,
I rather go out and play,
So one day at the neighbor’s farm,
I sold my burden for a puppy white as day,

But by evening my morning cheer was gone,
My little puppy too heavy to carry, too little to play,
Tiny hands curled into sweaty fists,
As I wondered, “What would they do, what would they say?”

Was it too late to change my mind?
“But a sale is a sale, no returns”
Chided the neighbor with the toothy smile”,
With head sunk down into my toes,
I walked the puppy back to home.

With teary eyes I rang the doorbell,
And looked into my Mother’s frowned forehead,
She greeted me with gushing kisses and warm embrace,
“Where have you been all day, my child?”

At the hearth a fire kindled,
And my little sister played beside,
Giggles and laughter floated the room,
and a tiny tear escaped my eyes,

Decades have passed since that day,
Now Tatjana has kids older than two,
But I can’t stop thanking the kind neighbor,
Who stopped by to return my sister soon after I made the sale.

And many more decades shall pass,
Before I forget the day when I almost sold my sister,
I was seven and she a wailing two.