Missing: 1 Sister – New Poem (Rough First Draft)

Missing: 1 Sister

The last time I saw you,

your fingers were stained

with beetroot.


You’d discovered the joy

of eating it raw, and had been

grating it into a bowl, with

sour cream and chives.


You wiped your fingers on

a white tea towel, transferring

spots of vivid purple.


You hugged me. I kissed

the top of your head,

your blonde roots. All

I could smell was almonds.


I remember when you first

had a fringe cut. I was fourteen,

you, eleven.


You said ‘I love it’ to the hairdresser,

but I caught your lip trembling.



You were as dangerous

as a cotton dinosaur

and constantly exploded

with compassion.


You were a woman proud

of her stretch marks.

They reminded you

of the happiest day of your life .


One time I asked what you’d

be if you could shape shift.

You said ‘a werewolf’

while pulling up your jumper

to feed your baby.


I was surprised.

I didn’t expect that.


We haven’t seen you for three months now.

Your baby has said his first word.


I haven’t washed the tea towel.

It hangs over the back

of a chair in your kitchen,

still creased still stained

with your purple fingerprints.