by Alison McKenzie

My sister greets me
In the dark heat
Of a flat city.
The heavy summer
Coats the air
Like an invisible cloak,
A burden of late seasons
And shifting planets.

Here I am alien,
And too, the land;
The suffering trees
And the foreign wind,
Whose language
Does not move me.

My quarters made ready
By a reception of grace
And generosity,
I lay my head to sleep
In the vivid dreamtime
Of we who ever-quest.

I settle to the rhythms
Of her cooking pots,
The scent of her candles,
Her divine serenade,
The touch of her fingertips
Playing in my hair -
A sister’s love that has
Transformed many a life to song.

Though servant I am to be,
She blesses me sacred,
Bathes my moments in
The paradise of her undertones.

It is here I would bleed
That she know relief;
Here that I will serve
With a glad heart,
Until euphoria finds
A place in her tender soul.


Author's Note: I'm still in Kansas, with the magic of my relationship with my sister filling in spaces I didn't know existed. Despite her pain and the way I know she suffers, she still lights up a room with her indomitable energy and love. A native american grandmother that we both knew told us that she thought perhaps, in another life, she and I were twins. I can believe that, because we finish each other's sentences, know what the other is thinking, and feel each other's pains and bliss. I'm sooo happy her invitation brought me here, and I'm so glad we get to reconnect in the wondrous moments of every "now". Thank you, Carla! Thank you!

Posted on 11/06/2011
Copyright © 2018 Alison McKenzie

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Morgan D Hafele on 11/10/11 at 07:07 PM

a beautiful ode to the reconnection with a loved one. thank you for sharing this piece.

Posted by Tony Whitaker on 11/13/11 at 04:33 PM

Another vivid reminder of the fraikty of health and life. Once again you express yourself with your wonderful style!

Posted by Craig Allen on 11/21/11 at 01:32 PM

You grandmother was right. Clearly there is a connection between you and your sister beyond the current time. Your paths will likely cross again. Thank you for sharing this small part of your journey.

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