The Sister You Imagine


for Kelly

In the ravine west of Grade School Hill,
We discovered a 5-gallon whiskey bottle,
Ridiculous brown totem, impossible giant,
Lying in the leaves behind a wooden shack
Of a house. She cleaned it up and it became
Her piggy bank, stuffed through the years
With pennies and quarters. Unscrewing the lid
Produced the smell of copper, the faint remains
Of cheap whiskey, the silver nickel of promise.
It was so heavy none of us could carry it.

In college, I wanted to see the Who,
Playing at Dallas Stadium. I had no money
And no vehicle reliable enough to get me there.
One weekend I came home and she emptied
That bottle for me, pouring out the coins,
So many I could buy a round-trip plane ticket
There and back. It was the first time I flew.
I have continued to fly because of her,
Because she has been the sister you imagine,
The one who will always finds a way for you.

–Shaun Perkins

4 thoughts on “The Sister You Imagine”

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