My younger sister, then three,
Caught a bug-like creature in our long-forgotten backyard.
Spreading stardust: the awkwardly tiny little fairy
Flew free in her room—searching every corner for gloom to discard
It sang merrily to her: a wondrously gifted, joyous bard.
My younger sister, nineteen at that time,
Rushed inside her dull, uneducated boyfriend’s second-hand car.
The fairy she caught stirred weakly: no longer flighty like an old wooden chime
In one of summer’s windless days, it sat inside that gradually shrinking glass jar.
Every night, I saw it longingly stared at my sleeping sister; then at stars afar.
My younger sister, now thirty, arrives; tired, sick, mad.
Clumsily she knocks a chair and drops her thick, heavy files of papers.
“Guess what, I also broke an empty jar at home,” Mad, but clearly not sad.
“Wonder why I even kept a stupid empty jar,” All colors have escaped her like vapors.
I smile; but I know: she has, long ago, lost that tiny happiness that sings and capers.