My Sister Down a Green Road


I can see my sister walking down a green road in early spring. The ice is in its first thaw. The trees sway, remembering the breeze. The farmer’s fields beside the road are heavy with clodded loam and aching rotted twigs. Black birds flap chilled mist from their wings and swoop.

She is walking down that road, the fingers of one hand flared in the direction of the the moss. She is lumbering; her one foot turns inward with each step. Her head is foremost, propelled by an unwomanly hunch. Loose strands of hair caress her cheek and slap the collar of her jacket.

I can see her on this road, how others might see her. Her fairness encouraged by the fair wind, the heat of her and the cool of all forming their ruddy rouge, the unwanted sign. She holds back a tide with that brave hunch. Her dark eyes are stones, old and everywhere, unbefitting the sweet face.

I can see her walking down a green road, crouched from where I am, inside her pocket. Her fist is here with me, in the pocket. Her thumb is chewed and cracked – Beauty’s surprise. I study the pulse at her wrist, even, and test the clench of her fingers, odd.

The green road is a pile behind us. Past the lining of her pocket, past the sockets of my eyes.