“Do you mind?” she says,
through her daisy smile.
She drops her folded arms
to show me the clothes she is borrowing
and flashes me those green eyes
her younger brother says
would be big for a cow.
“Go ahead,” I say.
She disappears with my new jeans
into her den of a room
where shirts and shoes
and other unsuspecting items
fall prey to wanton clutter.
I smile and shut my closet light,
content to keep my new riding boots
Years ago she borrowed my body,
my blood, my nourishment,
even my air.
They filled her like rain-soaked soil
fills a fledgling sprout,
and grew her strong and ready.
I poured thick into her
my time, my attention, my teaching.
The other day she borrowed my words,
threatening to sing opera to her young cousin
if he didn’t settle down.
The memory giggled inside me
for the countless times I promised
and followed through,
crooning high notes
and made-up words
above the discord of sibling squabble
until their fighting words joined in harmony
to silence me.
My heart wavers now between
the syrup of flattery and
the elixir of thankfulness
that still, in the vibrancy of her youth,
she finds appeal
in the clothes I wear,
in the things I say,
in the love I have to offer.
There’s so much more
I hope to lend.
Julianne Palumbo, MAW’s founder and Editor-in-Chief, is a mother, a writer and a writing encourager. She is blessed to have raised three children who still keep her moving. When she’s not writing, you will find her in the kitchen or the garden or walking the dog.