by Sam Brainard
I am that sister languidly thumbing through an old volume beneath the tall tree,
And she, in all definition, is Alice.
I have watched her daydream every day for years, reading to her aloud,
Poetry I have studied in classes she never would take.
Her gaze—always chatoyant, Cheshire like, hunting for the next caterpillar—taking her on a trip,
Sending her back to Wonderland.
She needs another ephemeral dream to coax her from reality.
And this, I could not give her with my verses and scriptures.
She is Alice—I am her sister
Scolded her for allowing the White Hare to take her away to dangerous places…
Worried over her, as the Queen ordered her head to be removed…
Cried when I found that she may never return from the rabbit hole.
I am the forbearance—she is the eager, the acquisitive, so ready for that next adventure.
We are a moiety, two parts of a whole,
Working against each other like a melody that ringing through jail houses and school halls.
She has the redolence of bad decisions, the attar of the Caterpillar’s charm on her breath,
I cannot bring her from her reverie—she has chosen little blue dresses and Looking glass languages.
And I must watch from afar as she eats and drinks their mysteries.
I must watch from afar as she eats and drinks the mysteries, lost in serendipity,
The wherewithal gone—and I am so deathly and utterly alone.
Everyone else is murmurous, and I, murderous, screaming down that rabbit’s trap for my sister… to…