To My Sister


We slept together
our dreams tangled like
our long black hair,
rainy nights
we held hands and jumped off
the narrow cot so kookoosh
wouldn’t grab our ankles
on the dark way to the bathroom.
Hand in hand we’d walk to St. Peter’s school,
our wool uniforms itching,
eyes smarting from grandma’s tight
braids, stomachs warm
from bannock soaked in bacon grease.
We’d spend our ten cents at the Good Will,
milk shake at the corner Five and Dime.
Looking so alike we passed for twins,
he couldn’t tell us apart or didn’t bother to.
Some nights we had to dance
ourselves back to life
after his smelly hands found us,
his beer breath, his red kookoosh eyes.

I’m tired,
take my hand, sister.
let’s jump to the other side.

Kookoosh - Boogeyman.
- oven bread