by Marilyn Nelson
For L. L.
My half-sister, my stepsister, and I
slept on wall-to-wall mattresses
in a room that had no hiding places
but in our heads and under our blankets.
Averted eyes were our only privacy.
I never really liked my step-sister.
My half-sister was cute, but she told lies.
A marriage we’d had nothing to do with
bound us together, three sister strangers,
running the gauntlets at home and at school.
Life is no situation comedy.
For years we overheard sex noise and fights.
My sort-of-sisters left when my parents split.
I had my own room starting in seventh grade.
Poem copyright 2018 by Marilyn Nelson. All rights reserved.
See two more poems from Marilyn Nelson debuted on The Fight & The Fiddle:
“Big Sister” and “Kismet.”
Read more in this issue: Interview | Critical Essay | Writing Prompt