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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 14: August 2022
Poem: pantoum: 210 words
By Laura Ann Reed

To a Sister I Didn’t Know

 
Sometimes your absence feels like an unopened love-letter. 
Sometimes your extinction feels like accusation, indictment. 
So much depends on the weight of air, the quality of light. 
They told me your hair was the shade of ripe apricots. 

Sometimes your extinction feels like accusation, indictment. 
Your span of being, a single day—less than allotted to a fly. 
They told me your hair was the shade of ripe apricots. 
They said you had a perfect, extra finger on one hand. 

Your span of being, a single day—less than allotted to a fly. 
At three, I watched as our mother’s watermelon belly swelled. 
They said you had a perfect, extra finger on one hand. 
You would have had an advantage, climbing trees. 

At three, I watched as our mother’s watermelon belly swelled. 
I’d lie in bed, casting spells, singing hymns of disappearance. 
You would have had an advantage, climbing trees. 
In my dreams, an orange kitten dies on a cyclone fence. 

I’d lie in bed, casting spells, singing hymns of disappearance. 
So much depends on the weight of air, the quality of light. 
In my dreams, an orange kitten dies on a cyclone fence. 
Sometimes your absence feels like an unopened love letter. 

 

Laura Ann Reed
Issue 14, August 2022

received a dual BA in French/Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, and subsequently completed Master’s Degree Programs in the Performing Arts, and Psychology. She was a dancer in the San Francisco Bay Area prior to assuming the role of Leadership Development Trainer at the San Francisco headquarters of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She and her husband now reside in western Washington. Her work has been anthologized in How To Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope, and has appeared in Loch Raven, The Ekphrastic Review, MacQueen’s Quinterly, and Willawaw, among other journals.

 
 
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