Wednesday, December 31, 2008

POETICALLY SPEAKING: JOANIE WAS A HOUSE FIRE

I had one other great loss in my life, my twin sister. Since tomorrow is a day of new beginnings, today I give you one last original poem of farewell. This is the first poem in my YA novel-in-poems, TWIN SISTER: I AM NOT YOU.

JOANIE WAS A HOUSE FIRE

She started out weak. Quiet.

Nobody noticed as her smoke

slowly infiltrated first our shared room,

then my brother’s,

then my parents’,

until each one of us was choking.

When she reached the family room,

her sickening flame

sucked the oxygen out of our house.

We all survived, scarred.

Joanie self-extinguished.

© Jill Corcoran 2009


A number of people emailed, asking about Joanie and my relationship. Unfortunately, I was born healthy while Joanie was born with a myriad of illnesses, both physical and mental. This was before the days of special education inclusion and a general awareness and kindness towards special needs children. Joanie died when we were twenty-six.

WE CAME INTO THIS WORLD TOGETHER

I was perfect. You were broken.

I soared. You sank.

I lived. You died.

I wonder who you could have been I wonder who I could have been

If we had soared

Together.

© Jill Corcoran 2009


8 comments:

  1. Oh, Jill! I can't imagine . . . As the mother of twins, it leaves me speechless. Twinness is not something I can fully comprehend. They have a way with each other that is beyond any relationship I had with my own siblings. What a terrible loss . . . and such a powerful poem. Hugs for you in the New Year!

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  2. Jill,

    This is a beautiful tribute, well written. It makes me sad though.
    Death and it's passage can be bittersweet. Hard to say the goodbyes, but happy if we actually get a chance to.

    I love that we've found each other to friend, and write with.

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  3. I missed this until today. Beautiful. I can't even imagine how hard it was to write, and to go through.

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  4. Thank you, Elise, Brenda and Jacqui.
    Hugs,
    jill

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  5. What a beautiful tribute to your family, your sister and the hardships you shared, Jill. I lost my sister to cancer 15 years ago...right around the time you lost your dad, I guess. My sister was vibrant...but crazy at the same time, the mother of five. It's still very hard to shake, but I try to follow her spirit and just keep fun a part of my life! (Sounds like you do the same.)
    Have you read "Girls of a Tender Age?" Different...but riveting. The main character has an autistic sibling. I absolutely loved the relationship they shared.

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  6. Gael, I am so sorry about your sister. I have not read Girls of a Tender Age, I'll check it out.
    I'm glad you liked my poems; they were painful to write.

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  7. I'll bet, Jill! Painful, yet so good for your soul! Your honesty resonates. I think you'll find a lot of healing in the vignettes in Tender Age. You are an inspiration!

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