Seven Sisters


Seven Sisters

Seven Sisters

Grandmother catches rain in
a rain barrel near the rows of dirt.
I play with the old dented faucet
attached to the barrel – when eyes
are not staring – from the upstairs

I use my plastic plates and cups
given to me by a girl down the street,
On one of my birthdays – cups are red
and white – I fill them with water from
the rusty old barrel – to serve to my

Mother, she complains about our
clothesline stuck in the center of my
play area. A long rope attached to our
house stretched across our lawn and
fastened to the shed near the alley.

Many years ago my father’s father
chopped down a cherry tree, an
apple tree, but we still have the pear
and peachtree – growing fuzzy hair.

Our sidewalk – longer because of a
corner lot, but Grandmother she sweats
when trimming the shrubs, I sometimes
stare, and watch – her arms opening
and closing those big scissors. I watch to
make sure she saves all the red beans
I need to mix for mud pies. I taught myself
how to remove beans without being stuck
by the thorns.

Mother is standing on the front porch
and leans over the yellow railing; I worry
because it’s loose, and everyone is so busy,
no one has time to fix it. Now she is
leaning against it, trying to reach those

Seven Sisters, and decorate our kitchen
table – but she hates roses, she tells
father and grandmother, “One of these
days when you come home, I’ll have
chopped them down – you bet I will.”
When mother’s eyes meet mine, we don’t
have to talk. Like so many people in our

neighborhood mother stares, her eyes
talk like the grocery man or kids who
walk by when I am playing with paper
dolls. It’s like those Seven Sisters, one
moment someone trims them, cuts them
for display – and then, they want to chop
the living daylights out of them.

Mother’s resting, sitting on the metal
milk box, inside I hide my paper dolls –
Mother opened a bottle of Schlitz and lights
one of her cigarettes – when she sucks
in smoke – she holds it inside of her for
a long time, it comes out of her nose
then circles her head and flies up to those
Seven Sisters.

I know I’m going to sneeze – I’ll take my
chances leaning on the old railing – if I
wobble it enough it will fall off, I’ll use my
dolls to help.

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Angie's Diary