Friday, November 20, 2009


Muddy worm held between two fingers
and our giggles carried like the wind across
the pond waters before us.

"If I catch a fish, I'm letting it go,"
I said with mocked defiance to my sister,
two years younger
but older than her days of calendar.

"I can't kill the worm either,
you'll have to do it."

Taking the wriggling thing from me
and laying it out flat in her hand,
we both stared transfixed
as it balled up.

"He wants to be free, I think."
She looked with intent towards the water,
tears in eyes not spilling over.

Shivers from breezes not external shook us both,
as dusk held off
for our decision.

Minutes passed,
while God turned his indulgent gaze
away from us,
though briefly.

Our eyes watched the movement of a turtle
slowly climbing atop a felled sapling.

"We could drown ourselves here
and no one would look for us,"
her voice barely audible.

The worm shrunken atop the lines of her palm
rolled slightly.

"Ok, but let's let him go first, please.”
This said twice,
as I thought the lack of response
reflected her not hearing my whisper.

I looked then over rounded shoulder
towards the house I knew to
be deserted.

She kneeled down upon
sunken footsteps freshly made
and set the worm
gently into one of the tracks.

"It's too cold to drown today, Sis,
so we'll wait until it's warmer, ok?"
she rhetorically asked,
without need of answer.

Helping her up from the ground,
we walked together,
arms linked in solidarity.

Trudging through tall grasses,
we headed towards the corn field,
our favorite hiding spot.

We began singing quietly in sibling unison,
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
you make me happy, when skies are gray."

Death postponed needs no explanation,
neither did our pain.

I turned to whistle for our two puppies to follow,
but they stayed there,
resting on the banks,
without ever looking towards us.

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