Monday, December 5, 2016

Manifesto of a Soldier's Sister

Manifesto of a Soldier’s Sister

When phone call anxiety turns to hour long talks
so that the clock hand stays
on a single number
and becomes a bumper of time
to let us both unwind and remember lollipop licks,
cinnamon sticks dipped in apple cider conversation.

When boots dipped in sewer sludge, mud, and blood
become magical boots that lute plane companies
charging too many twenties
to camo colored uniforms
because holding guns and
learning how to run for your life
is enough to suffice a discount ticket,
and superpowers.

When tear stains become rain drops
falling from atop the family Christmas tree.
We’ve been hand picking them since we were three
--evergreen melodies at obnoxious octaves
while marching through squishy fields of brown and green
with rubber boots and lots of rain gear loot.

When hugging stuffed animal Tiger and Gerard the Giraffe
no longer mean I haven’t seen you in six months.
That once you come back I’ll hold your pack
and we will talk like we use to--
I won’t stop for a breath and you will count
how many times I use the word “best”
before you wrestle me for the squirt gun
and run down the water stained hall
only to run back and hug me when I fall.

When PTSD means
Post turkey sandwich deliciousness
When depression means
leaving an impression of angels in snow banks
When night terrors
become something that scare the
fuzzy no-haired monster under my bed away.

When phone calls at 4am
acting like you don’t care
that the world isn’t there
won’t end with a gun to the throat
because you know home is filled
with coats of paint covering up our faint
crayola lines that passed the time as we pretended
to be Harold from the Purple Crayon book.

Thanks for stopping on that note to gloat that
you have the best sister, because mister I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.

When loud noises causing you to curl up in the fetal position
becomes the transition into comforting a small being that you call son.
You left the swaddle at home so now you waddle like a penguin to the couch
and vouch that he’ll sleep if you can just slouch on the couch and read him a story
about a corny giraffe that kisses and whistles the stares of other animals away.

Written as part of "how it could be" exercise.

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