I found a Stack of school assignments, marked with red, unreadable handwriting inside my closet today. A product of a semester long poetry class, this poem stood out to me and struck me deep inside as much today as it did the midnight morning that I wrote it. Some memories stay and waltz with us. The death of a dear friend at the age of thirteen will forever dance around me. It inspires me to listen more, do more, and live more. It inspires me in other ways as well.
To My Sister, on the One Year Anniversary of Her Death
You walk loudly
in my dreams,
heavy footsteps haunting
hallways of my mind. Last night you came,
Holy-Looking Barbie, no hair out
of place, just the way Mom left you–
pink coffin, open, red heels, glitter, unable to click
three times. There’s no place like home,
you told me. In my dream
we were at the ocean,
quaint little cove Mom and Dad would drag
the family to, immortalizing
pictures, smiles. Sea-gulls, angry onlookers
white and gray, soaring overhead. You’d prance,
pink polka-dotted bikini. Boys from Minnesota
staring, jaws open, joking.
I was jealous.
What is heaven like? I asked you. You took
My hands and held them, tightly, the way
I hold your pillow, stealing scents you weren’t selfish
Enough to take. There’s no place like home.
Head back, blue eyes, bouncing light, laughing like
A baby. And then you left, leaving Mt. Minneapolis
To talk to other girls,
Me to wander beaches by myself.
Today I found Mom crying again.
Tears, mascara running, ruining.
Dad sits, an addict of sorrow,
In your bedroom. Dozens of pink roses rest
On your bedside table, dried, decaying, unmovable,
As if they were meant to greet you
When you rise again. I stand, invisible, in the doorframe
Nothing more than the daughter that got left
There’s no place like home.
Listen to the words of the song! Listen! Listen! -Emily Mynster.