, ,

At a recent writing retreat, we were all provided with a section of the poem “My Life Was the Size of My Life” by Jane Hirshfield. Read the poem here.

My section of the poem was: “It wore socks, shirts, its own ears and nose. It ate, it slept, it opened and closed its hands, its windows.”

Its windows opened lovingly to my own heart. I was seven years old when my sister Kelly was born. We were all in awe of her. Just two years before, we almost lost our Mom when she gave birth to our sister Molly Ann, who was stillborn. We all tried our best despite our young ages back then, but we knew Mom was just not right. She had never lain down exhausted and never had been unable to get up before.

My brother Peter brought her the first thing he could find, a washcloth,  to keep her warm. I told Mom I didn’t feel good either, and lay down next to her until the ambulance took her away so suddenly that day.

Then, two years later, Kelly was born. Mom felt so much better with this pregnancy, yet there were concerns for her health and that of the baby too. Kelly was the saving grace, and all her brothers and sisters doted over her. I remember leaning over the playpen while spinning the “ABC” letter laced between the wooden slats just to look at her. Kelly was like a china doll to all of us.

Yet, “she wore socks, shirts, had her own ears and nose, she ate, she slept, she opened and closed her hands, her window into our hearts.”

Monica Sleap 11/7/15