I remember in the kitchen
How you wouldn’t let me help
But I set the table with its little cloth
And made my porridge in the evening.
I learned of kitchen roll in cupboards
And leaving it around the kitchen
To wipe up spills and tears.

I remember footfall to London
On those bitter mornings
Holding each other up on ice
Then quiet sighs when the train was in.
Sitting together and whispering
Til Blackfriars and the river’s
Cold wind made the eyes weep.

I remember your Sheffield smile
Shining across the room at me
And the hugs we shared, eager
To sit and chew the news while
The men brought drinks and journey talk.
Walking together into the city
Umbrellas hiding the crying sky.

I remember how it was…
Your smile opened the door
Your smile made the coffee
Your smile snuggled into your chair
And your smile said good morning.
Your smile gave me flowers
And frowned ‘Take care of yourself.’

I remember the hospital
How much at home you were
Drinking our cappuccinos or
Watching at the bedside and
How hard it was to leave and
Find our way back through Chelsea
Freezing in St. Albans for the bus.

Watching our children grow
Watching fields fill with snow
Watching Coronation Street
And watching you fall ill.
Ella shouting at my laptop
Cos you were far away
But near enough to answer her.

The sacred moment when I kissed her
Whispering my thanks…
My sister.

Eileen Walke
27. 10. 2020