January 9, 2014

My Sister and I Never Shared a Bed. ~ Stephanie Peterson {Poem}

My sister and I never shared a bed
Never shared a doll because I was much too territorial
But we shared a childhood and a history
And from that we ended up sharing a mind

Like two trees planted close, our roots became entangled
But instead of competing for space between our trunks
We grew out, filling new spaces and winding different paths
We grew apart as we grew together, allowing each other space
For shared memories and new experiences

The day my sister left for college, I awoke to a large stone
One that had clearly been dug from our yard merely hours before
With a scribbled note in her handwriting,
“Here’s a rock for when I’m gone.”
At the time it was the most emotionally charged thing she had ever done

You see, when I was young I used to think my sister was impenetrable
That her cool exterior was a reflection of her soul
The “ice cube,” I used to call her
She never cried

I envied her ability to remain disconnected despite
Our mother’s piercing stares and defensive snaps
Our inability to connect with other people, to trust other people
Our two split households that never seemed to add up to one full home
She glided through those years seemingly unphased

The opposite of her, I slipped easily into the undertow
Crying until my eyes itched and stung
And my sheets were dampened with memories
Feeling weak

For so many years I believed she had it all sorted out
Until I realized that the things I expressed, she absorbed
Each day taking in a new scar, carefully stacking each memory on top of the other
Until she had herself a barricade
That not even she could tear down

It wasn’t until after she left for college
That I learned what I mistook for weakness in myself
Was the strength my sister had yet to find
This is why our roots are intertwined
Because what we individually lack can be compensated for by the other
Because we share the same roots
We will grow that much taller and stronger


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Assistant Editor: Michelle Margaret
Photo: Flickr

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