what she knew was
the child was silently dying
the child died silently
silently the child passed on
What did this feel like?
How did I feel, a little girl;
and this, little girl silently passed?
I felt afraid. ?. I felt gravity;
I felt the gravity of silence as a chaotic blurring of stillness.
Night in the House of Poetry
I felt alone.
Did I know my sister? My sister was dying. I did not know she was dying. My sister was dying! I did not comprehend this. I did not comprehend her illness. could I? She did pass. I was five; she was twelve. My brother was fifteen; my parents; were parents.
I looked for her.
Often; under pillows and behind the bed; “Angela, where are you? Are you there?” We shared a room. We shared a double bed. We did not share it often. She was gone. I was gone. Too often, we were both, gone. In fact, no one was home. This home was empty. Was it home? Was it ever our home?
I was little. Is this why you never told me? Did you tell anybody? Did you even tell yourselves? Did you tell her? Brother, you say you sat with her in the hospital, but did you speak? Did she know? You? Anyone? Did we all know but dared little to speak?
I do remember an image that giggles deep within me. A single memory. All three of us, brother, sister, and Connie; all piled into your bed. It is Christmas Eve. We are giggling. A smile; the memory resides between my shoulder blades. I possess no such image of all of us; mom, dad, brother, sister, me. It is simply not there. Do you?
Dear sweet I,
Child, cave of loneliness
Do they have this same image too? My physical image memory, a metaphor, for us all? “Here, you take her?” did we all feel like orphans? Surviving as we did, alone, isolated, and locked behind doors of secrecy and fears?
I remember the bells.
When they first came out of their cases. Black cases with velvet insides. Hard shells with soft bellied interiors. Christmas Eve. The C’s house. Singing. There they are, the legacy of my sister, given to the church by my family. I wanted to cry. Did anybody feel these bells as deeply as I ? Did anyone understand? Did anyone feel them like I did? They were her voice. I could not remember much of her; neither did she ever get talked about. She left without a word.
I did not understand this. Life went on as if nothing had happened, and as if everything had happened. I didn’t understand this. Always a question, never an answer. The unspeakable thickness; death consuming our family; even among the living.
Would love ever be spoken?
the warrior is a child
who is she to judge where she stands?
who are they to stand where she seeks?
paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower