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My Beloved Sisters

Your Gift

by May Look

If I could recall from the years we had spent
Of birthdays and Christmases and milestones past
Of all of your gifts to me—some remained, some lost
Which would I cherish the most in my heart?

The gold-plated earrings, set with red rubies?
The thumb-sucking ape doll for my graduation year?
Or the 11 red roses when I turned 21...
“’Cause the 12th rose is you, baby sister dear”

Perhaps it’s the hand-knitted sweaters and scarves
Or the Erma Bombeck books that never failed to cheer
Or simply the cards with your encouraging words
Letting me know you would always be near

But none of these gifts really could compare
To all of the things of which you had taught
As I watched how you handled all of life’s menial chores
Took notes where you stumbled, which battles you fought

You said life is something we should fully embrace
No matter the pitfalls, the tears, the lies
That our greatest enemy is the one within us
So respect all others and hold your head up high

And just when I thought I had no more to learn
Your last days would teach me respect must be earned
As despite immense suffering, your inner strength came through
While that smile on your face belied the hero that was you

Now armed with these lessons, I travel on alone
Your words, your experiences, the net for my falls
Your lives and how you lived it, so that from you I may learn
This, my beloved sisters, was your greatest gift of all

Copyright © December 2001, May Look


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