Her world is receding, shrinking into a pale aqua cube with bright lights, lots of cords, an IV drip for every need, and a trio of inhabitants: herself, her husband, and her mother. The hospital staff are waiters and butlers, serving IV’s, checking the cords, and bowing themselves out.
She is receding too. Like a babe in arms she sleeps away her days, needs to burp, eats tiny bites of soft food off a spoon held to her lips, takes trembling steps.
My only sister oh my sister.
I never liked it that her hair was lighter than mine, that she was the Mary with golden and I the Laura with brown. No one serenades plain brown hair. Except once when we were small I found in a folk book a song called How I Long for Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair. I hated that, then.
Now she has none.
And I would give—oh worlds
Jesus, my sister.