Friday, October 2, 2020

On my second sister moving away

a poem scribbled into a journal after saying goodbye, before falling asleep

Sister, I have the
two bottles of wine
intended for you as a gift -
you see I must
see you again
soon, if only to hand off
this wine that your coworker made
at home, with care, left
out on his porch for
me to pick up, a favor
for you on this your last
weekend of living nearby -
a weekend of boxes, travels,
steely resolve that you
will arrive!
- one long, long
day and a bit later, more than a
bit tireder, full of apprehension
and hope. I imagine your
dusty cars pulling into that faraway valley,
into that apartment complex where
$2400/month will now get you a three-bedroom.
When I see you next will the hug be as good as the one
I was supposed to get tonight?
Supplanted by an elbow bump to
close out our strangely distant
picnic, with our overly loud voices
trying to travel through these
masks and across the circle
of beach chairs. They say nine feet
for a witches' circle. I say, a circle of mountains
to keep my sisters safe. How will we remember
this time? I hope there's not too much
COVID there for people to be nice to you.
I hope your new neighbors aren't too nice
to wear masks. I will try to send you your first
real piece of mail there -
slim paper housewarming present
to break your Montana mailbox in.
Right now your moving-weekend crankiness
is fresh enough in my mind for me to
feel a little less sad about no more you
at my birthday dinners
. Good work,
if you planned that. I still
know your phone number by heart.
I've changed mine a few times since we all
got our first cell phones together in 2007,
 and I'm glad you never stopped
calling. I will try to send you your first
Montana mail. I will try to bring you these bottles of wine soon.

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