6 Quatrains for My Sister

pipespringsfor Roxann

She puts the French fries up her nose,
then returns them to their package.
Her hungry students take them and eat them,
even though they’ve seen what she did.

Mom experimented on her hair–thank you, Mom.
In her 5th grade picture her tight home-permed bob,
along with the cave entrance of a missing front tooth,
make her look like a waif just off the orphan train.

She has always fashionably sported hats.
She poses in a reversible gym jersey and floppy hat,
hand on hip in one of my favorite photos of her.
At 53 now, she wears a Fedora with pizazz.

I coveted her 6th grade graduation dress,
white fake lace and a baby blue taffeta tie bow
falling from her neck to her waist, swinging
like her long blond hair in late May 1971.

She is one of the best teachers you would
ever want. She can also make you laugh
even if you don’t want to. She will dance
and sing in her church lady voice and inspire you.

She led the way into secret places and bowling alleys
and bars (don’t tell Mom). She taught me how
to ride a bike and she let me drive her Firebird.
Sometimes I wonder what I would be without her.

–Shaun Perkins

3 thoughts on “6 Quatrains for My Sister”

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