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Margaret Alice Second

(24 January 1961 / South Africa)

If That Be Possible


Sis arrived in a flurry of words, Nici coughed and
sis gave tough love, you had better eat and sleep,
not try to stay thin while working all night on your
project and tasks, off to get medicine, new pain-
killers then to the new plastics place and found
a flat container for mom, the new Chinese shop

New lipsticks, came home Nici took two of every
kind of pill, now I’m free to admire my new tray
and new mugs sis brought me, a blue and white
Christmas scene, ideal to offset the lemon green
in my office, perfect with the subtle, washed-out
pink I love, watching the music channel with sis –

Then in a moment of utmost weakness I asked sis
to turn down the volume, she sighed and turned
the sound off, her temper flaring again; how dare
I suggest the volume too loud when she’s in charge,
she stomped off to bed and I put the TV on mute,
she stayed, we turned the sound on again

I’m on thin ice with her around, wedged between
my beloved demanding I follow his orders and sis
who challenges any authority all round – my turn
to sigh, already once tonight I burnt my fingers by
urging sis to keep my confidence - no more trust,
asking her to understand is just too much

She prefers the straightforward running over every
obstacle way, if that should estrange my husband,
tough luck, she says – yet I know the pros and cons
of my beloved’s mind, know the margin of error is
small but the dividends high, I’m willing to sacrifice
tonight to keep everyone happy, if that be possible

19 April 2013

Submitted: Friday, April 19, 2013
Edited: Saturday, April 20, 2013

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