Sister Blue


Brother new, sister blue, I miss you.
Both lost at age four. Pain is evermore.
Is it wrong that I still long to belong?
To share every care and touch your hair?
To pillow fight, fly a kite, hold me tight,
whisper secrets in the dark, swing in the park?
We were three with esprit, now there’s me.
There’s no gloss on loss. It’s all dross
but for remembered gleams, moonbeam dreams.
Happy times are past but memories last.

Copyright 2016 Brenda Davis Harsham

Notes: Loss is a tough subject for kids of all ages. No matter how you slice it, losing a loved one makes us sad. Remembering with joy is the only thing that can remake us, glad. I had an older sister and a younger brother, both lost when I was four. Never a day passes that I don’t remember them with joy. I hope you can remember with joy, too.

Writing Tip: Be brave. Submit your best work, written from the heart. It takes work to put together the submission, courage to press send and fortitude to remember that rejections aren’t of you, but of words that weren’t quite the right fit. If you’re not sure where to submit, then look over my link for ideas. I found the contest below among the links there.

Sister Blue was published in Awake, a NY Literary Magazine anthology, and won First Place in their poetry contest. Yay! I have an anthology in my hot, little hands, and I’m proud to say it’s a thing of beauty.

First Place Winner at NY Literary Magazine

Happy Poetry Friday tomorrow! Thanks to Robyn Hood Black, a wonderful poet, for hosting at her blog, Life on the Deckle Edge!

poetry friday button

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Loads of limericks here and here plus all the poetry friday posts will help you celebrate!

82 thoughts on “Sister Blue

  1. That is fantastic you won the first prize with this great poem!
    I suppose loss is painful at any age. I think any loss leaves an emptiness which cannot be replaced.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m struck by how you’ve managed an impossibly heavy and personal subject with these light, lively words and rhythms, Brenda – so respectful of a child’s perspective, I think. Such bravery holding up these verses. Thank you for sharing, and sending thoughts and prayers as you remember your siblings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a poignant poem, Brenda. Hauntingly filled with sadness and loss, but also echoes of happy memories. I read of the accident in Awake, a tragedy –so young– that I cannot imagine even though I’ve experienced the loss of siblings. Congratulations on First Place and on being published in Awake!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for looking at the anthology. They did a great job with it, I thought. I’m sorry for your losses, too. It was hard to be so young because none of my peers could support me. It’s lonely. But I have the love I remember to balance the rest.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ohhhhhhhhh, I could kiss you.

    First, thank you for a sad poem that is dressed in the joy of remembrance. I lost a brother when I was twelve and the loss very much shaped myself and my family. I can relate to remembering. One of the first stories I ever wrote was about this loss and I think a lot of my writing is somehow connected to that time.

    Second, thank you for the links!!!!
    I’ve wanted to start submitting….but the time it takes to research where/when/how is more than I’ve had the energy to tackle. You are a friend to poets. Thank you!

    Have a great week. I so enjoy a visit with you on my weekends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish you great happiness in your submission phase. I will warn you that I read that a poet who submits regularly gets accepted about 10% of the time. This is not because only 10% are good, but because she only fits into the criteria in the editors mind only about that often. It comforts me as I wend my way into the submission thickets. I keep a database of who I sent what, when, and it helps to just slot in an “Accepted” or “Rejected” or “Crickets” into the results column. Then I can move on. I always enjoy stopping by your site, too. XOXO


  5. Congratulations on the win, and on being included in an anthology, how wonderful!

    Grief and loss can be crippling, but even more so when we feel we must always “put on a brave face”, or swallow away our emotions. Expressing these emotions can be so liberating and so cathartic, and poetry can be the ideal way to work through our darkest moments and most painful memories, and to turn sadness into something beautiful. Thank you for sharing your memories with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sorry to hear of your double loss, Brenda. It takes courage to write about such painful subjects. I love how you’ve brought your love and heart to this poem, still holding your siblings in the light.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jama. The closer the loss, the harder the words. But important for us to support each other. Thanks for your support. In my way, I’m trying to shed a little light on a hard subject, from my heart, which still holds joy, despite its cracks.


  7. You show courage in your writing, Brenda and beautiful heart as your wise words tell us. I’m sorry for your loss, and glad that you shared what you wrote with such love> “To share every care and touch your hair?” feels like a wish we all have when faced with loss. Congratulations on the prize and the publishing!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can’t really imagine the pain of that loss. My mother told me when I was a little girl that she’d lost a baby before it was born between my brother and myself. Even though I’d never known that person, I always felt a sense of loss. It would never be as acute as yours, but that small loss I can try to imagine magnified a thousand times. Maybe then I would come close.
    Congratulations on the anthology!! Beautiful poem that should be in one!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh Brenda. Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your life. I lost a sister a year ago and this morning i visited her resting place , and told her how much I missed her. But I was lucky: I got to grow up with her, and have her well into our adult life. Hugs to you xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Brenda, as I was reading this poem that was beautifully written I felt a touch of sadness. Then, I read your after piece. I am sorry for your loss. It takes courage to write from the heart. Congratulations on your award. It is well-deserved.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. this is one of my favorite poems of yours, ever. i too, lost a sister and know the pain. we were in our twenties, i cannot imagine this experience as a young child. i am so sorry for this horrible loss.

    Liked by 1 person

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