Poem for a Sister

for Ali Cobby Eckermann


Ali my sister with the warrior heart

I am sorry. For all that was stolen.


umbilicus cut too many times; too

many severances, down the lines


you show me how to be a poet: the

stops in between; bird song words


gifted like water in deserts; keening

from the heart, and not too afraid to


cry; kneeling lonely between stanzas

listening for what cannot be taken:


skin, rain, longing, sisters, the moon—

words heal like silken snaking scars.


Beautiful smoothing lines that show me

how to belong; how to keep going on.