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Libbie Richman

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Member Since: May, 2003

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Sisters
by Libbie Richman

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

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           >> View all 23

SISTERS






THE HIGHWAY WENT IN TWO DIRECTIONS,
I GLANCED BOTH WAYS WITH INTENSE INSPECTION.
I TURNED AND TOOK THE HIGHWAY GOING RIGHT,
THE AIR WAS COLD AND IT WAS LATE AT NIGHT.

I WALKED FOR WHAT WAS SEVERAL DAYS,
I TOOK RIDES FROM STRANGERS GOING MY WAY.
I DIDN'T REALLY HAVE A DESTINATION,
JUST ANGER, CONFUSION AND FRUSTRATION.

I SAW A MAN AND ASKED THE TIME,
SAID, "HEY MISTER, GOT A DIME FOR A SISTER?"
HE SAID, "IT'S HALF PAST NINE"
THEN HANDED ME A SAWBUCK.
SAID, "GO WASH YOUR FACE,
YOU'RE FULL OF GRIME."

STARED AT HIS COLD HARD FACE,
HE SAID, "BEING BROKE AIN'T NO DISGRACE
THAT HE COULD CHANGE HIS LUCK AND MINE
AND TOGETHER WE COULD HAVE A GOOD TIME."

IT'S BEEN A YEAR NOW, AND I GOT A LITTLE DOUGH,
SOME NIGHTS ARE HOT, SOME GO REALLY SLOW.
THE MANS FACE WASN'T ALL THAT WAS COLD---
OFTEN HE'D BEAT ME TILL AGONY MADE ME FOLD.

I HATED BEING SIXTEEN AND WISHED FOR AN AGE THAT WAS BETTER.
SOMETIMES I SENT MONEY HOME WITH A MADE UP LETTER.
I NEVER TOLD ANYONE HOW I FELT---
I JUST PLAYED THE CARDS THE WAY THEY WERE DEALT.

I STAND ON THE STREET UNTIL MY FEET HAVE BLISTERS
AND ASK; "MISTER, GOT SOME TIME FOR A SISTER?
I'LL MAKE YOU HAPPY; MAKE YOU FEEL REAL GOOD,
THIS LITTLE SISTER CAN PLEASE ANY MISTER."

ONE DAY A NUN WAS PASSING BY ON THE STREET,
SHE LOOKED SERENE WHILE MY HORIZON WAS BLEAK.
I LAUGHED AND SAID, "HEY, WE'RE BOTH SISTERS---
ONLY DIFFERENCE IS GOD GUIDES YOU, WHILE I GOT MY MISTER."

SHE OPENED MY HAND, GAVE ME A CROSS AND TWO DIMES,
SAID, "CALL HOME CHILD; IT'S WAY PAST TIME."
I STARTED TO CRY THEN SAID IN A WHISPER,
"IT'S TOO LATE FOR ME---IT'S TOO LATE, SISTER."

LATER THAT NIGHT I WAS BEATEN BLACK AND BLUE;
WITH THE CROSS AND TWO DIMES I KNEW WHAT I HAD TO DO.
I CREPT THROUGH A WINDOW AND KISSED OFF MISTER---
I WASN'T EVER AGAIN GOING TO BE ANYBODYS SISTER.

I RAN TO THE BUS ON THE VERY NEXT STREET,
THE FRESH AIR WAS ALREADY SMELLING SWEET,
THE GIRL SITTING NEXT TO ME ASKED, "GOT A BUCK FOR A SISTER?"
I SAID, "NO, BUT AT THE CHURCH DOWN THE STREET THERE'S CASH,
HONEY---JUST GO THERE AND ASK FOR THE SISTER."

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