for the other sister

i remember conversations
and the look on your face
when i questioned your thinking
“is this coming from you
or them?”

i remember your fire
even when we were young
the loudness, assertiveness
unwillingness to bend
that would not be doused

i remember the fear
you tried to hide from me
because you didn’t know yet
who to trust
and who not to

i remember crying
before my return
imagining you alone
physically, mentally
totally and completely

i remember deciding
to come back
into the trenches of
thinly veiled hate and bigotry
my armor in place

with a second set forged
just for you

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