Tuesday, August 24, 2010

sister hands

The first four kids in my family are girls who were born within a five year period. This summer, three of them gathered for a brief time at the home of the third sister. I am the eldest of the four, but it has been almost a decade now since I had the health and mobility to cross the ocean that keeps us apart.

I was nursing my isolation with a mental pout, when the second sister sent me a poem she'd written that drew me into a metaphorical sister hug and wiped the pout from my mind. The poem begins with the line "Three pairs of sister hands." But I, too, was there at that kitchen table-- in spirit anyway. And my hands were a fourth pair reaching out to theirs. The poem begged to be illustrated, so that's what I did.


Three pairs of sister hands
Reach across
The kitchen table
For open display.
But tentative
Yet satisfied
At our lines
Bumps, knobs and twists
The hilly blue veins
We compare the wrinkles
Of our well-worn lives
Five decades each.

My young niece
Watching us
Instinctively offers
To paint our nails.

(poem by Vicki Patschke)


  1. What a wonderful post. I am grateful every day for my own wonderful sisters. I am lucky because we see each other fairly often.

  2. What a wonderful sister. I have no sister and always wondered what it would be like to have one. Lucky you.
    The etegami is not too shabby either.

  3. @ModernMs > Thanks so much! I'm so glad for this age of the internet where we can interact and share with each other in spite of the distance that separates us.

    @origa-me > Yes, she is. All my sisters are. :D You know, this etegami is the first one I dashed off after reading my sister's poem. After that I tried about twenty more times to better capture the aged, worn quality mentioned in the poem. But I couldn't capture it the way I wanted, and ended up posting the first etegami after all.

  4. I'd be lost without my sister. Beautiful etegami!

  5. wow wow wow. Thank you for visiting my blog or else I wouldn't of discovered your beautiful work. I bet your sketchbook project will be incredible. I wonder what you would think of the paper (it is quite thin...)

    Will be back to visit! Cheers!

  6. @chasingbawa > Thanks! 3 cheers for sisters. :D

    @Jannie > Glad you could drop by! I'm getting nervous about the sketchbook. Several ppl have mentioned how thin the paper is. It should arrive any day now...