Karen Phillips - The One that I Love

I have a mother. She’s over there
In Iowa, playing Tetris.
I have three sisters, they are
Always available to me, on the phone
To laugh and retell stories. One of them
Did enough work, herself, to
Find her way all the way back from
“Who are you?” via “Who am I?”
To “Who cares? I love you anyway!” and
Because of that, we are sister-friends.

I have good girl friends, all over
The world.
Some I found in
Grad school, some on the floor of
A restaurant, on a porch swing,
In a pub.
There are those I am still
Excavating from the wreckage of
My college cyclone. Three
Revisit me all the way from the
Faraway land of Catholic school,
And seem to love me best.

One friend is Karen. She came with the
Wedding, free of charge. Insisted my hips
Will shimmy that way,
Come the day I let it all go.
She doesn’t ask me to change myself, or
Order me around; just to say,

Come in. Here’s the love. Here’s my arms–
I’ll hold you and you may lean in here,
No judgment. You are doing
Fine. Rest. Put your head down,
Sister, daughter, mother, friend.
I have got you. We are the
Same, no less, no better
And when you want to take up
The mantle again, you will be able to
Do it because all of us are here to hold you up
Say yes, you can. Know it because
You are me.

You are us.


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