by Holly Whittelsey Whiteside
Mother clipped my sisters down to size.
Dust whirled at the heels of small spirits
So I stepped lightly after, reeling in my own
before they’d call her scanner eyes my way.
Barbed wire years, until one day
a tiptoe through the compound, and
I’d cut and run before she caught my scent.
Yet life seeks balance.
These turning years have brought us, walking.
Out of a curse, we move toward blessing
as I train to be her nurse.
Visible now, at her back I move,
In care and feeding now of her.
She huddles small and close,
Her dentures in the pink glass on her table.
I dust to keep our world afloat,
As from historic fluff and motes,
We weave some warmth as we are able.
Our all is all as we come around to where
What once was broken is at once our whole.
The world expands as she extends her hand,
As in my hand she tentatively sets her soul.