Friday 11 February 2022

One Wonderful Poem by Lilija Valis

 


SISTERS

 

Eternal law has arranged

nothing better than this,

that it has given us one way

into life, but many ways out.

                       -- Seneca (4C – 65AD)

 

 

She doesn’t do smiles

I sing when she argues

        her words are fiery

        my songs are blue

 

we’re joined by a history

thousands of years old

        moving in our blood

        sending signals

 

even after we manage

to put half the world

        between us, when one

        is injured, the other bleeds

 

blood marks each word

passing between us

        we possess alternative

        versions of history

 

it does make it hard

to joke, if I laugh

        she’s insulted

        if she jeers, I tear up

 

whatever I say

she says the opposite

        it appears the sister act

        is a balancing one

 

an opera singer is certain

to have a stand-up comic

        to trim her ego

        if one joins the military

 

the other enters a convent –

too close to share a home –

        no spouse the other chooses

        is ever good enough

 

whether they like each other

or not is irrelevant

        for love covers everything

        belonging forgives wounds

 

we emerged into this life

from the same door

        but will leave by different

        exits each has created

 

possibly thousands of miles

away from the other

        in the midst of strangers

        but we will never

 

leave alone – we will

        take a part of the other

        with us

        when we go

 

and a song we sang

together as children

        will accompany

        our departure.




Lilija Valis and her sister have not agreed on many things during our life together and apart on three continents which offered war and festivals but we agree on this poem.

Lilija Valis has lived on three continents, in some major cities, including Washington, DC, and San Francisco when there was music in the streets and strangers hugged each other, published in book, literary and e-zine magazines, as well as nine international anthologies, and performed in public libraries, parks, old theatres, pubs, among other places. Asked to step side by COVID until it finishes its performance.


 

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