Sisters by Heart

Six closed doors

hiding ready-made beds.

Cobwebs and bugs take the place

of laughing girls

Memories hang in the air like mist.

Girls, living and breathing and working and playing.


But I cannot hear them,

I cannot feel them,

I usually don’t even realize that they were here.

Their memories are not mine.


I am lonely.

A loner unexpectedly too isolated for my liking.

No one near to share new culinary masterpieces,

compliments of Chef Necessity.

No one to pull me out of my hermit ways ever so


with love and



But then –

behind the closed door down the hall

arrive two suitcases,

one green backpack,

a Canon camera,

and you.


In half an hour you are a pleasant acquaintance.

The next day you are my friend.

A week later I do not want to remember the painful silence

of the days

before God matched my life with yours.

Now, you are – guess what?

My sister.


You are not the first,

and I am certain –

you will not be the last.


I remember, being the youngest of three

and yet in some ways an only child.




for a sister.

She never came.


I am the youngest child of a youngest child in a





But don’t ever tell me

that shared genetic heritage is a prerequisite for love,

that sisterly affection and protection

requires identical parentage

or the same last name.


Because I remember that girl

who took my hand,

and led me through a maze of

Spanish words,

Chilean micros,

Humitas made of choclo.

She listened –

to a homesick little girl’s memories

of home.

That girl, is my sister.


And I remember you,

yeah you –

girl with the cheeky grin and light brown skin

and jet black hair that wouldn’t curl,

no matter how much you tried.

Bubbly, energetic, strong willed firecracker.

Heart so big and laughter so full.

You let me be me, and loved me for it.


You girl. Yes you –

You’re my sister.

And I thank God for you.


And I remember,

in the sunny, hot,

sticky South –

Your Alabamian drawl clinging to you

like a persistant shadow,

with a good natured smile to match.


Us two shy little mice, who would have thought?

that someday they’d think we were




calling you me, and me you.

Well, they had a point you know.

It’s not everyday that two people are born able

to see right through another.


All you girls,

spanning every continent,

country after country,

filling holes in my heart that fit you perfectly.

teaching me

what it is to love –

with my voice and hands as well my heart.

to serve –

with the only reward being another’s relief.

to laugh –

with the sheer joy of being alive.


Love you bunches.