My sister doesn’t do sad.
She tried it on a few times,
different styles, different sizes—
nothing quite fit. Either too loud
or too dark, too tight or too baggy, she’d say.
But I think it was the silence of sadness
she couldn’t size up.
See, she’s a musician and she hears
B major the happiest of notes in her pink roses
and she weeded out E flat minor (the saddest)
from between the beans
because she lives
in the key of wonder.
When I was little, I watched her
practice piano on the windowsill before
we got the upright
and now her fingers glide on the bass clarinet and she loves
parades and dogs and actors on stage.
She bakes toffee bars, chimes in at
book club, and will call you on the phone
checking in with perfect timing and then
when it gets too quiet
she will sit at her kitchen table
and hand-write a letter
to a prisoner
so when it is opened, her cursive flows like a cello
deep and smooth making a little cell swell
words rise from the page
like high notes of a flute
measure by measure
my sister’s drum roll of love