You Rise

(For my dear sister, Kay, I’m so sorry I couldn’t save you.)

Your face is fading.
I see shadows of chin,
childhood inside my mind.

Orange Kool-Aid,
baloney sandwiches,
Aunt Carol’s peonies like colossal,
pink faces thrill us.

He loves me, he loves me not.

You tell me you lost your virginity
in the backseat of an 85 Chevy.
I tell you Sylvia Plath’s poetry saved
me from sticking my head inside an oven.

I am, I am, I am.

Our ovaries jump up and down like
two schoolgirls exposing secrets.
Nobody ever got me like you,
loved me like you.

In my dreams,
he doesn’t murder you.
We are laughing,
smearing charcoal- Madonna eyeliner
on one another,
Bonne Bell vanilla gloss.

I am terrified of loss,
unfinished sentences,
letting go.
I only know a world with you
inside my air.

Your hair covers me like a dark water,
long strands caught between my teeth,
fractured prayers beneath,
a silent god.

A thick, rolling fog.

In my dreams,
you are unreachable,
sitting on a ledge,
an edge,
leaning away.

From me.

When I awaken,
your name is
written upon my lips,
your voice lifts
like a million brilliant birds.

You slide next to me in words.

Your veins pump with history,
Your story climbs
from stone,
from the grave,
the soil—

You rise. You rise. You rise.

Photo: © Kim Sisto Robinson All Rights Reserved

  1. This is absolutely beautiful. You captured the feeling of loss so perfectly.
    You convey your love for her in each and every word.
    Breathtakingly haunting. Thank you for sharing this very special piece with us.

  2. Oh, Kim… You are just such a brilliant writer. Thank you for sharing your words, your sister, and this bond with us. I don’t think there’s ever another bond quite as strong as that between sisters. I love your shared secrets and charcoal eyeliner evenings. I mourn your loss. I love the comment by Elephant’s Child–you do rise, too.


  3. Heart breaking, beautiful, sad, poignant.
    My brother died tragically in his twenties. It is more than pain. You have expressed the intensity of emotion in such an eloquent way like golden fragile strands woven together to creating a braid of love.
    Losing a sibling is losing a part of ourselves that can not be recreated or replaced.
    Sending you love and positive energy.

  4. *sigh* Your words. Your heart. Your soul. Your love. All exposed for us to see, to grieve with you, to celebrate Kay with you, to love with you. You always touch my heart.

  5. Kim, you are brilliant.
    Thank you for taking us on your journey and for sharing Kay with us.
    Mostly, thank you for advocating, educating, for being the strength that so many women need.
    You are gifted and such a wonderful person Kim.

  6. Kim, Such a beautiful piece about you and Kay. It still makes me so sad that I never got to meet her, but your words keep Kay alive. Love you. peace, my sweet friend. xox

  7. Beautiful imagery and a beautiful tribute. Kaye truly lives on in you. I am thankful for the words that saved you… you are a walking talking writing miracle… rise! Rise! Rise!

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