For My Sister on Her 50th Birthday!


You, me, and Joe were little
In homemade Halloween costumes, remember that?
That is a good memory
Innocent, not a care in the world
Other than trick or treating

The big people made tornadoes
And we watched from broken windows
In the midst of turmoil, we found each other
On a swing set in a cow pasture
Playing Chinese Checkers
Looking for ghosts in the old house
Hiding in the Alabama woods with cousins

Memories fade
I can't hold them any longer
Some stay though
The wreck in the ditch because of drunk grandpa
Dancing to Elvis on picnic tables at dads
Midnight sitting in the middle of the street
With neighborhood kids
Fighting, crying, singing, shucking corn
Listening to grandma’s stories
And you cried that first talent show I was in
I remember that

You were the strong one, the confident one, the boss.
I knew you but I didn't
You were my nurse feeding me a soup made of broth,
Milk, tea, and whatever else you could find
God that stuff was awful

You always seemed sad and heavy with life
Your face ached of things you couldn't or wouldn't say
But how would I know really?
I was looking away most of the time
Wanting to be anywhere but there

Mom did the best she could, now I understand
You tried to keep me in line but I would have none of that
I know I drove you crazy
I wasn't calm and sweet like Joe
How did you endure my brattiness, my selfishness?
How did you stand my judgments, my condescension?
My arrogance
I have many regrets

We grew up too fast
You had a baby at 16
And I went away searching
For whatever it was I couldn't find 

Now memories drown in daily needs
Years pass and suddenly
Its mid-life
We’re more done with than beginning
Almost over the hill and the hill is a steep decline

But when I see you now
You don’t seem sad and heavy with life
Your face isn’t full of ache and things you can’t say
It looks as if you found your place
Like you’re happy
I’m so happy you are happy
We turned out ok you know?
We are all three OK
And life is only halfway over

You, me and Joe were little
In homemade Halloween costumes
Innocent, not a care in the world
Other than trick or treating
Back then, we had each other
We will always have each other

Carole Turner
June 16TH 2016



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