She never laughed so much
as when she lounged
with her three sisters,
around the oval Formica table
in the 1950s kitchen of
her parents' house.
Or on the cushions of the decrepit porch swing,
covered with scratchy vinyl flowers,
that rested against the back wall of the garage.
It stood there for eons,
imitating the same stance
her father did in his recliner.
No matter how frustrating
a sister can be--
and believe me I should know--
there's a palpable feeling
of being alive when
your sisters are physically with you,
close enough to touch,
Bright smiles, loud snorts,
rays of fervent, positive energy
filled the scene,
already redolent with scents
of baking and summer rain.
Vibrant, pulsating, waves of joy
pummeled against anyone
who dared enter into that kitchen.
Usually, we walked right back out.
It would seem, I think now,
in those thunderous moments with her sisters,
and in the tranquil ones that always followed,
that all was right with the world.
But pockets of time are just that:
single slices that we fold into our lives,
hoping that we can spread them out,
thin and unblemished,
like the dough her mother made for pie.
And like that pie,
the pockets get eaten by life
and everything that goes along with it.
So that in the end,
when she returned to her daily life,
not a single crumb remained.
Until the next time the four convened.
When she'd lean in,
towards the other three,
and savor the warmth,
the raucous fun,
those ephemeral junctures of time.
She'd take them back home with her,
and bring them out,
hoping they'd stayed slightly intact,
for the instant that she needed them.
I wonder now
if she remembers those days.
(The drawing above is from Claudia Tremblay's original watercolor and can be found here.)