dear sister by Sequoia Maner

dear sister | Sequoia Maner


i’d like to think we never experienced a world where foster
care fostered absence. we went to the roller rink for birthdays.
later we giggled over longed-armed boys with flexed jaws &
soft faces. we shared a bed cuz, like everyone said, we
shoulda been twins, anyway. our favorite tv show was i love
lucy cuz she be acting a fool like no other. we ate good &
laughed with our whole bodies. we wanted for little & desired
it all. we were simmer heat flare & flame. when mama beat
me for being fast you said, “sissy, it’s natural.” when mama
asked “what’d you do for that boy to lay hands” i said, “sissy,
no woman deserves this.” maybe we tucked our desire into
folded notes & tucked our notes into secret drawers. maybe
we found a door within each other. i’d like to think it could
have been like that, anyway. a life where we never knew
group homes, social workers, shelters nor courtrooms. a life
where loneliness was nonviable cuz even if we didn’t have a
mother we had each other & even if we didn’t have a mother
we had a “mama” & even if we didn’t have a mother we had
a life. i’d like to think couldn’t nothin ever separate us: me &
my protector from mean girls & bullies, my warrior because
you had to be, my Atlanta—goddess of perfect aim &
unwavering fortitude. Oh, how you slayed for me.

About the Author:

Sequoia Maner is a poet and Assistant Professor of English at Spelman College.