by Kate Hoffower
I have a photograph of my sister that I took when she was in college. We are in a cemetery in
But on this day we are drunk with the happiness of a trip alone without parents. Pretending to be adults. Both in college. I have just seen my first opera. I am silly with freedom and an infinite world of new experience. We both know, but do not yet believe, that we will ever die.
I have another photograph of my sister, but this one lives in my memory alone. It is one year later and she is standing in a
In this photograph my sister's face is soft again, but now with the courage of having battled personal demons and won. It is the softness of a strong woman. I have turned to her so that I will not see the paramedics opening my mother's shirt. I have turned to her so that I will not be aware of the people eating popcorn as they glance at my mother's bra. I have turned to her so that I will not hear the desperate hollow sounds coming from my mother's body, or see the clouds that have filled her eyes.
There is a third picture of my sister that I keep in my imagination. She is holding a baby that has fragile pinkies and blonde hair. I wonder at the slightly strange way she supports the baby, tightly against her chest. Until I think about walking my dog earlier, and how I felt a sudden need to carry her for a block, supporting her weight completely in my arms. So that I could feel her heart beating strongly, against my own.
Friday, October 13, 2006