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Secret Sisters

My grandmothers spoke at each other
over frozen boundaries
marked by a wall of smiles,
while they tunneled beneath
the feet of their own children.

One was married forever and ever.
She tucked her brown eyes brown perm
under a smug Sunday cloche.
One was married three times,
because of her green eyes,
Titian rinse and stiletto shoes.

“Fussbudget biddy!”
“Loose swinger!”
The jealousy of secret sisters.

In separate summers
grandmothers sang out to me:
"Oh, let's go down to the water!"
One positioned an oyster in her hand
and with a small knife unhinged the ocean for me.
One held up my body as we pushed our faces
under the next salty wave and called for dolphins.

Then these women distanced
by heavy atmosphere,
walked a steep shoreline
reshaping points eroded by words
and each one silently pressed
her heart into the cliff.

Previously published in 2008,
Arborealis: A Canadian Anthology of Poetry
Edited & Compiled by Allan Briemaster,
A Beret Days Book
For more information go to www.theontariopoetrysociety.ca