To: My Sister
From: Your Sister
My Sister Maureen,
It has come to my attention that the unspoken
was spoken over wine last night. This memo is a reminder
that we came from both sides of the Celtic DNA:
you, the lawyer, and I, the poet.
Through our father’s seed we formed in our mother’s womb.
We journeyed through her hips, our small bodies full
of Irish descent—you, the oldest, and me, eight years later.
Three siblings between us.
Our lives have intertwined like Hedera hibernica.
My first memory is through your story. The walk with you
and your best friend to the neighborhood grocery store.
My little legs over such a long distance.
It’s true on that walk you were more analytical, measuring
the whole one and a half miles, and precise, encouraging
me in short positive sentences. I simply observed the cool blue light
bowing through the trees, breathing in
the stillness amid your voices.
It’s true our lives connected and disconnected
for years. You studying cases and writing briefs
while I consumed Robert Frost and Sylvia Plath,
attempting my own poems.
Memo writing dictates that I should have
important facts to support why we took the paths we did.
But I don’t. All I have is the constant of our parents’ Irish traits:
family first, a love of words and music, a sense of justice
and ambition, and always the space for a good debate.
Seems only fitting then I bring this attempt
at a lyrical memo to a close:
It is with great pleasure I invite you to another evening
over dinner and a bottle of wine. We can raise our glasses
to what is larger within us—
the depth of our ancestors’ hearts and minds—
and celebrate who we have become.