Sister Night,Sister Day

It is a day for remembering and honouring those who are now among the ancestors, but vibrantly live in our memory. These are my motherlines’ women.

Sister Night, Sister Day

Her sister was much more fair
with sunlight in her hair,
her eyes the colour of sky,
stick skinny. Who knows why?
It happens in families,
how two such thick allies,
so unlike, could be conflated,
one an unexposed plate
in Dad's studio dark room.
the other a full bloom.

Night and day. The dark-haired one,
in her heart, had the sun,
laughed easily, looked for, found
fun. Summertime beach browned
her a ripe olive, her eyes
dark berried, kind and wise.

Sister was home and mother
to sister, my mother.
For so many years neither
time or  distance broke their
bond of love and devotion,
sibling consolation,
that on this date, Night's birthday.
Sister Day passed away.
Sister Yang and Sister Yin
circle complete, kith and kin.

Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved
Moses and Russell Photo Studio photo, Wintston-Salem, NC, c1922
My mother, Elma, far left, and her sister, Betty, far right. flanking the eldest sister Mary in a studio photo taken by their father, William G. Russell, Jr. in the Moses and Russell Photo Studio, Winston-Salem,NC, circa 1922.

Day 10 NaPoWriMo2017

Today’s prompt is a pen portrait. But I also decided to use the Magic 9 form from yesterday to challenge myself to use formal rhyme scheme,which I often resist. So today is an actual nine-liner.


Nearly a decade ahead

Head start and headstrong

Science projects, hours’ long piano practice, well-read

Latin homework spread upon her green desk

Portable Remington typewriter, paper threaded

Poems typed, sent to Breadloaf and beyond

Venturing towards goals and godhead

Showing me how woman can belong