Sister, I hear your voice but cannot see
you here, where you walk beside me; here
where you forded the last lonely river,
leaving me lost on mortality’s bitter shore.
Here amidst June’s high water and hatching eaglets’ cries.
I dreamed this all before, still I cannot form you:
Yet, I know that song you sing.
“Will the circle be unbroken”
How should I remember you? Your soft cheek, able nose,
those quartz hard green eyes set in wool. Your handmade
dresses among threadbare trouser quilts; your musty books
of prose and the dried daisies they keep . . .
In this dream where your voice visits, do your keepsakes
Sing to me ?
“By and by, Lord, by and by”
Tell me a story before you leave, so I won’t wake alone with my fear;
so the morning fog will not take me.
The warmth I hear, that you see, tells of our childhood orchards,
all lost now to hay.
Still, you sing for me
“There’s a better home a-waiting
In the sky, Lord, in the sky.”
Goodbye, Sis . . . ’til I dream again.
Thanks to my wife, L, and her mother for telling me the true stories which inspired this poem. ❤