Category: Marie-Louise McGuinness

Dear Sister

Jun 11  |  Marie-Louise McGuinness

Dear Sister,

Three minutes made me your Queen. Three minutes when a kingdom rejoiced loud in my safe arrival, while you slid, barely noticed, in my wake from the aphotic depths of our mother’s womb.

The spare, cast by the heavens in mirror image of me, with the same smooth skin and the same clear eyes. All the same, just less.

You were to be my help-mate but your resentment spurred jagged thorns to sprout from your heart and your eyes, clouded green, blinded with envy.

My belly is swollen, engorged with new life and you panic, dear sister, for you know time is short for your dream, in days you’ll lose hope of the crown.

I don’t know why you refuse to be content with your position within these turreted walls, dear sister, for you have been granted all of my kindness.

I’ve sought your counsel for many things, you were wise and steadfast with your schemes. When father began to lose his mind, it was you who brought the poison to my hand, who pulled the rubber plug with the almighty pop. It was you who stirred as the drip of blue mingled with the silvered onions of the soup.

I loved you then, dear sister and I believed you loved me too.

But I see you now, though you don’t think I do, scurrying mouse-like from the castle in your maid’s old robes. Stable dirt painted thick beneath your eyes, in determined strokes from your grasping fingers. You believe yourself incognito as you scurry to the Inn, to rally the serfs to rebellion, but I see you dear sister, I do.

In the morning, your nails bear the dark crescent moons of your betrayal and your breath blooms ripe with the fetid stench of bitter lies and ale. It stings me dear sister, a putrid cut festers deep in my flesh but I smile at you yet. For once, it is I with a plan.

I’m sure you still trust me with your life, dear sister, for you think that I am weaker of mind than you. When I chose reason, you favoured violence and I could always be moulded to your will.

But, you threw the dice on the night you fled to the Inn, to drink fire with heathens in the devil’s chamber. You sold your soul but your gamble lost and now, sequestered within my royal skirts, sits the blade once warmed rust by our dear brother’s blood.

When you return to my bosom, honeyed lies sticky on your face, I will set my hand in the memory of yours, dear sister and I too will know the resistance of a human chest; but I will act alone without the warm embrace of a beloved womb-mate to soothe the icy trembles of elation and shock that come after.

I hope to see you in death, my dear sister, when my fruit is crowned King of this land. There, I hope that we will share a grave with damp, red soil as warm as the womb.