I watched my sister marry her high school sweetheart
Over the internet in a Vegas chapel.
She could not stop giggling like a child as her hubby
Popped his gum and smirked.
I watched them disappear across the country,
Bury their new lives together in snow.
They built ties to his family in Minnesota
Hoping that they would become Indian rich.
I watched my sister push through the breezeway
Beaming brightly with a present in hand.
She handed it to our father and my mother.
Tissue paper hid a bib: I love my grandparents.
I watched as she bought maternity dresses
Loud and pink, for her plane ride home
To the ice and cold.
Holding her unborn belly like a rock.
I watched as my mother paced about the kitchen
Closing her eyes and holding the bridge of her nose
Coaxing her across the phone lines to be strong.
Everyone gets afraid at first…
I watched as they doted over baby #1
Praising him for his blue eyes
That jumped out of his pale skin.
Holding his hand like a purse.
I watched as she dragged her luggage
Behind her back to California.
Hubby quietly cursing her for making Indians angry,
His feet twitching with regret.
I watched as she became heavy with a ticket.
Buying pink bows and Disney dolls
For a nameless child.
Her womb a bed chamber in a treasure chest.
I watched as she let the babies crawl
On defile floors as she watched TV
Vexed when I picked them up to hold them.
Instincts only a mother should have.
I watched as she stood with her shoulder
Digging in the doorway
A witness to her own life condensed to
Cardboard boxes sent back to home.
I watched as she held baby #2
Who squirms in frustration
Doe-eyed squints chronicling cluttered floors
Tiny fresh eyes seeing the spectacle I’ve seen before and before.
I watched her take seconds as the first plate decayed.
She spit fire to those who loved
Forced to eat from Mom and Dad’s pantry.
I watched little eyes of innocence
Scan the house for da-da
Who found more warmth
In the ice and cold.
I watch it unravel like a spool of red ribbon.
Swiftly it rides in the wind she cannot control.
Pouring over itself
With each tooth that creeps through the gums.
Entangling sore silk
In a picture you cannot hang on the wall.