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Friday, June 3, 2011

Visiting Your Sister

A man (who is me) says

To his daughter (who would be you),

“Let’s go visit your sister (who is named Alice)

And her husband (who is called Seth).”

And where do Alice and Seth live?

They live by the sea near Seattle

With their teenage children

(Who would be my grandchildren

Just as they must be your nieces).

The girls are beautiful and perfect.

Jane is the oldest.

She plays both piano and cello

With the Seattle Symphony

While Sandra speaks impeccable French

And captains her debate team.

We six arrive at the dock and set out to crew

On a picnic sail into the sea

Aboard the boat owned by Seth and Alice.

We toast the dolphins we follow

With ice cold champagne

As Alice and Seth serenade us with Vivaldi

And Jane accompanies on her cello

While Sandra serves us chilled oysters.

We talk of the people we love

And wish there was room for them as well.

You recommend my latest book

Which of course they claim to have read,

Exclaiming how it moved them to tears.

Once we anchor and swim to shore,

We walk the broad white beach,

Where you stub a pretty painted toe

And say, “It’s nothing,”

And though your nieces

Tease you, you just laugh

And ask, “Can I suffer from

Too much happiness?”

We all answer together,

“Not now. Not here.

Not now and here together.”

That night, once your sister and Seth

And your nieces (who are my granddaughters)

Have gone to their beds

We talk about all those I just made up

Just as I made up you.

I turn in the bed that creaks.

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