I pick up scissors, struck in mid-air
by the sharp absence
of my sister's hand.
They were hers, these scissors,
and all her life's richness
distills into this gesture.
Oh surprise of being alive! Of being here
in this town giddy with blossoms,
on this Earth, with hands
that know what to do—
bright bountiful gift out of darkness,
as though in dying my sister willed me
the delight she took in life.
I cannot bear the thought
of losing one gesture
of the Earth: one breeze
smelling of rain,
one cobalt evening sky.
Will I ever be able to let it all go?
Maybe if I made sunrise and sunset
my profession, or wandered the world
translating cobalt and rain
into rapturous song—maybe then.
I come back to the package,
to my room, my life.
by Karen Leahy