Jan/Feb 2019 Poetry Special Feature

An Only Child

by Barbara De Franceschi

Image salvaged from public domain

An Only Child

I have no sister except myself:
a shared persona interwoven with the same pulse.
We walk familiar ground, talk to the wildflowers
feel nourished in the understory of a double life.

We whisper matching love-secrets,
stars encrust our vision, we smile in unison,
happy to be in the clouds,
to feel the mist, touch the rain.

In moving currents we swim stroke for stroke,
I fish your deepest thoughts,
you net my silent dreams.
Your blood is my blood,
if your heart bleeds
I grieve.

In public company we detach.
I can tell by the distance in your voice
you wish to ignore me,
I prickle in a triangle of pointed misery,
watch your lips move in severed speech.

Like a dropped stitch in a purl and plain knit
the separation is transient.
You fall into my step,
link your hunger with mine,
together we climb on a free wind,
find the boundary of identical dreams.

They understand so little—
those who commiserate,
presume loneliness,
mistake chosen solitude for peeved frustration.
They have no perception of the twin mystics
that float like animated boats
to fill the space on a solo sea
with dual company.


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