Sibling Nights

Everything was funnier in the middle of the night so my sister and I would make a date, decide on a good time, the middlest of the middle, and whoever woke up first would wake the other.

Standing up, walking around, tiptoeing downstairs, all those things would be perfectly straightforward the next morning but now they impaled us on hysterics. We’d cover our mouths and keep on tiptoeing, off the stairs and to the right, then another right and into the kitchen

and quickly into the fridge, where we’d each stick out a thumb and pull out a plum. And the very idea of eating plums in the middle of the night thrust us further into hysterics, we couldn’t stop until that voice from the other bedroom, “go back to sleep, kids.”

And you never saw kids run so fast, never heard giggling so nervous and so silent

never heard a bedroom door close with such relief, just before we zoomed the length into each bed

and dared share not even one intimate sibling glance, lest ever louder laughter grip us and the voice from the downstairs bedroom begin to climb.

Marion Deutsche Cohen’s latest poetry book is Lights I Have Loved (Red Dashboard Press, NJ) and her latest memoir is Still the End: Memoir of a Nursing Home Wife (Unlimited Publishing, IN), sequel to Dirty Details: The Days and Nights of a Well Spouse (Temple University Press, PA). Her books total 24, including Crossing the Equal Sign (Plain View Press, TX), poetry about the experience of mathematics. She teaches math and writing at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA. marioncohen.net