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For my Sister Molly
Who in the Fifties

Alice Walker
copyright 1988
Alice Walker and Pocket Books

Once made a fairy rooster from
Mashed potatoes
Whose eyes I forget
But green onions were his tail
And his two legs were carrot sticks
A tomato slice his crown.
Who came home on vacation
When the sun was hot
And cooked
And cleaned
And minded least of all
The children's questions
A million or more
Pouring in on her
Who had been to school
And knew (and told us too) that certain
Words were no longer good
And taught me not to say us for we
No matter what "Sonny sayd" up the

For my sister Molly who in the fifties
Knew Hamlet well and read into the night
And coached me in my songs of Africa
A continent I never knew
But learned to love
Because "they" said she could carry
A tune
And spoke in accents never heard
in Eatonton.
Who read from Prose and Poetry
And loved to read "Sam McGee from Tennessee"
On nights the fire was burning low
And Christmas wrapped in angel hair
And I for one prayed for snow.

Who in the fifties
Knew all the written things that made
Us laugh and stories by
The hour. Waking up the story buds
Like fruit. Who walked among the flowers
And brought them inside the house
And smelled as good as they
And looked as bring.
Who made dresses, braided
Hair. Moved chairs about
Hung things from walls
Ordered baths
Frowned upon wasp bites
And seemed to know the endings
Of all the tales
I had forgot.

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