Little sister

Radiant now

glowing from afar

same flame hair

tipped by sunlight

a veneer of gold

I always seemed

to slide beneath,

unleash the terror.

You were my

first baby

tasked at seven

to shield you from

our childhood


Our mother

held you high

for fifteen years

you were jewelled

dancing on a stage

you’ve never left

& when the fall

came, brittle, sharp,

shocking: whereas mine

I handled in utero

branded an abortion.

Did green love

creep in?

I’d like to think


relieved you bore

the heady spotlight.

Time has wrought


no return to

closed memory:

slammed door

set us free

to breathe


You’re radiant now

safe in the arms

of Spanish heat

theatre in your blood

& now the poets’ touch

escapes your

dancing fingers.

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