Sister

Minutes before I wash
your sumptuous curls
in warm water, with dish soap,
no perfumed shampoo
to be found,
your voice drops
susurrus syllables,
mellifluous secrets
between us, ethereal in
hindsight, and not
a baby picture of you
hanging in this house.

If I were to sit you down
and say I believe
you were snatched as a baby
from the arms of a dancing
dark-eyed gypsy with April
dogwood blooms slumbering
in her bohemian hair,
you might believe my
words curled with deception.
But you’ve always been
a barefoot dreamer, and
your wild spirit sleeps
inside southern songs.

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