The look in her eyes turns foggy, faded, as if she were pulling away.
Her lips pursed and her complexion sallow.
I am honest with her, I tell her what I think, and I think she is an alcoholic.
The air turns thick and rancid, I take a step back and she bites, and she bites hard.
Her sharp tongue lashing out like rogue flames from a roaring fire, her tone dark and mean.
I love who she is when the waters are calm, she is kind, and she is funny, but I hate her when
she is called to defend her behavior.
Like all of us she has her days and nights, her ups and down, her peaks and valleys.
And I accept her for who she is through-out all of it, in spite of her inaccurate accusations,
her scars, her shadows and her fears.
She is my little sister, she is my niece’s mother, she is my only full blood sibling, and she is the bane of my frustration.
It hurts when I am honest and she disappears, when she claims I don’t care and turns away, returning to the shadows again.
I know how it feels to melt away, to sink back into the dark pool of shame and fear.
I know what it means to want to simply vanish, from the pain, from what hurts and from the love
you can’t allow yourself to deserve.
I wish I could show her the way, but her map is different, it has places I have crossed off on mine,
scary places and hard places, and places I have succumb to and survived, and I hope that one day she may too.
In the meanwhile it hurts, to watch and to see, to hear and to feel.
There will be days again when she wanders by a little too closely, just enough to feel a little warmth, just to know it’s still there and I will respond in kind and absorb what I can of her then, knowing it won’t last, knowing soon after she will disappear again.