Sister feels like a word that hurts to say but is easy to write,

like no, or maybe, sorry,

but not the two put next to each other.


When sister leaves, she takes everything with her

She takes the books and the songs but sets her breath in the corners

so you can hear her when you sleep


And when you sleep, sister waits outside your door

wearing clean white slippers

so her footsteps won’t leave smudges on the shiny hardwood floors


Because sister should leave with the songs and the books

but your rooms still needs emptying, their corners swept

And some words still need to be said.


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