Ode to My Sister

My first impression of you
Was of a baby doll
Cheeks painted with sunset
Upon a porcelain mask, fragile to the touch
Tender arms wrapped gently around you
Like a snowy lace veil waiting to be pulled back
And reveal the most extraordinary treasure on earth,
So vulnerable and breakable
My first thought was fear
That you would slip between my fingertips
And shatter.

Your screaming arias
Serenaded me the moment I returned from a weary day
Echoing down the halls
Pushing aside all thoughts
So that attention refocused on you—
Such strong-minded opinions for one so small!
A Prima Donna was being nurtured under this roof.
My second thought was fascination
That you mastered the art of self-confidence
So quickly.

The gurgling smile you bestowed upon me
Lightened the lines of extreme concentration
On my face—
A much kinder scolding than what I usually received
For behaving in a foul mood.
“Not like that,” you corrected,
“Like this!” leaving a wet imprint upon my cheek
And leaning back on your pillows
Satisfied with your handiwork,
You wriggled around
A roly-poly, content with the ground
Until greater aspirations sparked in your impressionable mind
With all the strength and exertion of a valiant knight,
You lifted yourself upon the edge,
Determined to conquer the world with your abilities,
Before toppling back down with a howl of frustration
That only ignited your need to aspire to new heights
And explore the farthest corners of the earth.
My third thought was awe
That you taught me so much more
Than the jumbled up facts in textbooks.

Dancing around my room
Laughing with unconcerned joy
You jolted me from reality
And my consuming fear of tomorrow
Each experience was a new wonder for you
While I waited, jaded and uncertain
On the sidelines,
For the future to collapse before me.
Was I ever, possibly, like you?
You are either karma finally catching up to me
Or a reminder sent in the form of a mirror
Showing me what I once was
And whispering to hold on tight to you always.
My fourth thought was determination
To stand by you

No matter how you mature,
No matter how you puzzle me,
No matter how you frustrate me,
Because you save me from the leeching
Panic that threatens my soul.

And still
You filter through the shuttered blinds surrounding me
A dusty ray of sunshine that I can actually touch
And treasure and feel you love me in return
You are unconsciously
Infectious with your energy,
Potent with your curiosity.
The charisma you radiate draws me into a wonderland,
And we whirl around in the air,
Never stopping or
Bothering to grab onto the earth for security.
I wonder at you,
A precocious magician on the verge of discovery,
And I think now of an everlasting gift to you,
A promise to fill you
With every increment of
Hope,
Inspiration,
And light
You give to me





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