what it means to have the miracle of a sister

Sisters make circles of time, a completing of sentences and memories and laughter, the past curving into now and you both know how it all rolls.

A sister born friend, she turns all the inner worlds that won’t fit into words, into a deep knowing.

From the moment I first cupped a woman child into me, I had always wanted this for her  —  a sister to round out her heart.




And when that girl became the middle daughter in the center of four sons, a pair of two brothers on the older side of her, a pair of two brothers on the younger side of her, I biked a whole summer of mornings, down through the woods, begging God for a sister for the one.

From the window, I watch the two of them now, a wild grace that might not at all have been.

They look like two peas in a pod out there, their heads lying close in the hammock, their laughter perfect beads.

She who is taller reads aloud Curious George and she who is smaller folds in close, the other perfect half of the longer, and will she one day swing her sister’s babe on her hip, a fluid extension of the love that flows through them both?

Will she hold the other end of line in enfolded prayer when her sister calls late, weeping over a heart that fell down a flight of love and shattered all silent?

Will they wear each other’s Birks and tell each other that those jeans just have to go and laugh till their cheeks hurt and begin their day with early morning phone prayers?

Will they be sisters, the shared childhood that never ends, the friendship that transcends?

And when they grow old and I grow older and there will be goodbyes for now, will they remember? No losses are ever losses when we love; what we love is always with us, becoming part of who we are.

They must remember this, how love rolls — everything into One.

Together they sway the hammock, a steady rhythm, double grins.

And mine too, at the window. That one broken woman had the privilege of giving two future women to each other.

I can see it there too, that singular curl falling over the edge, this certain entwining …