Dusting my office shelves, I found a relic of the past crumbling to pieces. It was a tiny clay Halloween pumpkin that my sister made for me when she was 5, and I was 18 and away in my first year of college. She had painted the little clay piece orange and its eyes and mouth green, but it had flattened on the bottom when it dried. She and I both had a hard time that year. She kept running away from her kindergarten class, running all the way home whenever she could. And if I could have run away home, I would have, but I didn’t have her certain, independent, little spirit. How difficult that year was, the first time away from home, few social skills, and certainly no flirting skills. I didn’t know how to fit in, and that’s what I wanted, to fit. What did my sister want? Not to fit? To go her own way? For the teacher not to scare her? Her year was just as hard for her.

The little relic was past repair. It crumbled away when I picked it up. I thought I’d kept it all these years because it was funny looking and dear that it had been given. Only as I write this do I realize the pure love it contained. Sweet, sweet little sister.




3 responses to “love

  1. K:
    Sisters are treasures. I know you miss her and always will.
    What a spirit she must have had and how brave – to run away knowing it was not what she should have done. Is the pumpkin asking you to take a daring step? Is Carman whispering to you?

  2. I signed up for your writer’s class in March. (Stalker!) I’m looking forward to it. I read your post below about reading poetry to help one’s prose, and I think I’m going to start doing that. That idea has been itching at me for a while. I picked up a “How to Write Poetry” book last week, and while it was enlightening, I don’t think it’s a substitute for just reading the damn poetry.

  3. The sister who gave me that little pumpkin was not my sister, Carmen, but rather my youngest sister, Loreine………

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