A Letter to My Sister


Dear Nell,
Remember when I used to keep you up
all night because I saw beasts
In dark doorways. So I held your hand.

Last night, Mikhail Baryshnikov came,
uninvited, he soared from southern window
Where the moon swivels, to the northern
where the stars converge.
His legs cutting dry November air like scissors
Pink tutu around his neck
And black cat-face ballet slippers…

Leo stormed into the room
Leonora Carrington herself!
Looking for her slippers, her face stern,
eyes deep-set, she directed: spin!
Then she painted him, a green gazelle
in pink ruffle collar and clown hair
Jumping over the moon, eating stars
Scraping antlers on Jupiter.

I watched them perform, gather up silks
into peacock tails, strut in oranges and purples
Trail rainbows behind.
Oh, what a show it was!
And we fell asleep
Covered in peacock feathers.

Next morning they were gone.
Just the pink tutu on the living room floor,
and Indians in snow canoes
On the back hills,
with their hands like ores, stuck on dry land
And they, too, were gone as quick as they came,
Rodin and Bernini now patiently
Shaping icy marble under the spruce.

Sometimes after their evening milk
Dylan and Donovan visits
They sit cross-legged on the bed,
ukulele perched on their stained socks,
they sing to me,
ballads about loving sharks
And a man so small he had to eat ants.

Dear Nell, I still see beasts sometimes
But mostly there are painters on flowers
and poets in the birds,
dancers on the wind-kissed branches
I sit among them, and they hold my hand.



About BeeHappee

Where have all the bees gone? Where have all the flowers gone? https://beehappeenow.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Inspiration, Kids, Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to A Letter to My Sister

  1. nicoleaugust says:

    I’m seeing colours !

  2. gatheringplaceseasonfour says:

    … and dance (Grandpa Bee)

  3. Wow 🙂 what an awesome piece! I love ballet!! Wonderful imagery you conjured here!!! –Paul

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, Paul!! Believe it or not, it was in part inspired by your review of Spirit of the Beehive. 🙂 I just got my hands on the Beasts of the Southern Wild, looking forward to watch it. With wintry season, we are starting our theater and Nutcracker season here. Had a family member who used to dance male lead in Nutcracker. I had a Ukrainian ballet teacher, she was the most disciplined and strict woman, and I love her to death that to this day. 🙂

  4. NeoNoah says:

    I too, extend my hand to you, with hope that you will take it!!!

  5. shoreacres says:

    Above all else, your poem makes me wish I had a sister. I had a ballet teacher, too, but a sister would have been better. I think. I imagine. In any case, this was a delightful whirl of a poem. Do you know Lee Ann Womack’s song, “I Hope You Dance”? I suspect you do. It’s what I thought of as I was reading.

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thanks, Linda, yes I know of that song, although could not quote a single line. Having ballet teaching sister is the best yet, like my boy had while he was stretching his long legs across the living room. He may not think so now, but one of those days he will come to appreciate these ballet sister days. 🙂

  6. Such a lovely piece! ^_^

  7. blazeburgess says:

    The way the last stanza hits is so powerful. The beauty of the world conquering the terrors of it.

    Your work is so cathartic.

    I’ve been away too long.

  8. noblethemes says:

    So beautiful, I had to read again! 😉

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