Something Strange Happened the Other Night

I got an unexpected call the other night. My nephew, who lives in Colorado, wanted me to know about arrangements to have my sister’s ashes spread in a spot she loved in Colorado. She was my only sister. Obviously, I must have had her on my mind, because I woke up at 3:21 am the next morning with two sentences I could hear myself saying—over and over.

This has never happened to me. I don’t believe in that garbage about if you wake up remembering a dream, get up and write it down before it vanishes. First, to write it down means you have to be awake and my dreams evaporate as soon as I emerge from twilight sleep. duh. Second, if I wake up, it probably means I have to pee. And third, at my age, doing anything else will guarantee a night of ceiling staring and clock watching.

But this was weird. I had to write those words down. I could hear myself saying them out loud even though I was wide awake. They became the two lines of verse that opened the piece I began to write. And verse? Where did that come from? I’ve never written a poem. I don’t know the first thing about writing poetry. (Well, ok, it’s not a poem, only the opening two lines, so think of the piece as lyrical-sounding prose.) By 3:45 am, the first draft was finished. And you have to believe me, I’m a slow writer, really slow. Something or someone was pushing me to write it. And I mean pushing. God? My sister? If I was more spiritual, I’d say it was God. My gut says it was my emotions and I just plain missed my sister. You be the judge. Go have a look. It’s called To Sissy.