Sister’s Keeper – Poem by Wes Sims

She paced the floor, hands wringing,
babbled to herself, sometimes tossed words
toward us that might or might not make sense.
Not unlovely, she hid her attractive figure
in simple cotton dresses, and coiled
her long, brown hair in an old-woman bun.
Floated in her own world, like a butterfly
in a conservatory, from one hallucinatory
bloom to another.

Diagnosed in her twenties,
logged some years in an institution,
recorded some progress, pronounced
harmless, but unable to live alone.
Parents gone, her elder sister
brought Dottie home to stay,
for both to exist on a seamstress wage.
Helena stitched a tapestry of hope-chest
dreams washed with drab colors of reality.

They braved the hard streets of St. Louis,
walked to town for groceries, other necessities.
Forgoing her own possibilities for marriage
and family, sister Helena plodded
through the rest of her life—housing,
clothing, guiding her sister, and listening
like a patient confessor to the endless river
of babbled, meandering words.

Wesley (Wes) D. Sims

Wesley Sims has published one chapbook of poetry, When Night Comes, Finishing Line Press, Georgetown, Kentucky, 2013.A second chapbook is imminent in 2019, Taste of Change, Iris Press, Oak Ridge, TN.His work has appeared in Connecticut Review, G.W. Review, The South Carolina Review, Liquid Imagination, Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel, Breath & Shadow, Plum Tree Tavern, Nature Writing, American Diversity Report, Artemis Journal and others.

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