June – my small sister, born in her month of rain
and in her second year
her month of death.
My mother never spoke of June.
Pain and death, she’d say, do not exist.
No doctor crossed her path.
June became a sunny picture drawn in coloured chalks.
She sits in a daisy field smiling out with dimpled cheeks.
She holds a flower between the rains of June.
I know a little about her death,
how barbed wire had snagged her flesh
and gushed its poison through her blood
turning her too deeply green.
I’d overhear dark mutterings from aunts
how a doctor could have saved her life.
all the flowers in my mother’s garden
bowed their heads as rainfall filled the sky that day
and soaked her earth with blood
I never knew what her bible said,
know nothing of her silent grief.
Enough that I was born replacing June.