I call you sister

Dear Sister:

When he left our bedroom

in the early hours of morning

we held  hands under the covers

and whispered,

we’re ok, we’re ok, we’re ok.

I still do that when I’m scared

almost half a century later.

We were the blond girls

flaxen haired

so pretty

in our cotton pajamas

and our perfect white teeth

and our imperfect innocence.

 

You were the brave one.

You told the nuns and the priests

but no one listened

or they said don’t rock the boat.

 

and you must’ve felt so lost

because in the morning

I never remembered anything,

but you did.

I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you.

 

but that’s one of the things he did best,

turned us against each other

but before he married our mother

do you remember how close we were?

I didn’t call you Lori, I called you sister.

 

I call you sister.

I honor you.

I love you.