The Sisters – a poem

i
Two sisters sat on the edge of a cliff –
and one was old, and one was young
and their mother was not yet born.
They watched the sea below their feet.

The waves chewed at the rocks
as they had built the cliff through ages,
and green weeds flowed with the tide
like the sisters’ hair on the wind.

The sisters sat for many hours,
their fingers twined with strands of yellow grass,
their eyes like chips of ocean glass,
fixed on the far horizon.

Without a word, they sang to each other
and rivalled and warred in silence
as siblings do
without a real reason to fight.

And the grass became a violin
beneath the elder’s hands.
Her pizzicato challenge lost itself
somewhere between Dover and Calais.

The younger never heard it,
trapped as she was in a book
of her own invention
with half a reality against its spine.

So they stayed, forevers in the hours,
inside an opal fog, so thick they could see everything
except one another,
but no eyes were needed for that.

ii
Two sisters sat on the edge of a cliff –
and one was old, and one was young
and their mother was not yet born.
They watched the sea below their feet.

Conjugating the tones of fortune,
it slipped their minds to turn around
and check on the declensions.
Amo amas amat, mittimus mittitis mittunt

Under the angles of the clouds
but above the drop of the cliff, something got stuck,
and two sisters sat alone
amidst the swarms of tourists.

Diutissime, something something
and a subjunctive of some sort, yes?
But after a moment, they lost the beat
and leaned against one another’s shoulders for protection.

iii
Three sisters sat on the edge of a cliff –
and one was old, and one was young
and the other was not yet born.
They watched the sea below their feet.

And the endless seas incarnadine
watched right back.

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2 thoughts on “The Sisters – a poem

    • Many thanks! This one came from an extremely odd dream. There wasn’t enough material for a short story, and I wasn’t sure a vignette would capture everything I wanted to, so it became a poem. 🙂

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