My sister's beauty lies in a reserved comfort,
and no one in my family stands for her humour,
the one place where she encourages no sibling rivalry,
as the chunk of us bear the mark of a god on our faces;
We are cacti, imprisoning joy in our ragged cheeks,
and never the angels of good cheer to a dreary family.
My sister never begins each day without pulling strings,
with which she creates sunrise within our hearts;
Even while disaster steadily knocks on our doors,
She reels out peals and rolls of raucous laughter
and sunset hides in the forest of its birth.
Sometimes the moon breaks down on our floor,
either shoved by the sun or nudged by the stars;
not funny bearing the world on our cluttered charms,
but my sister’s laughter brushes the dark smudge away.
Last week, some thick clouds gathered in our room,
so a deluge would flood into our secret surfaces,
While my parents sat on their thinking chairs,
My sister’s laughter cast it as a sterile darkness
and created sunrise in our doors and windows.
Tell her not that there is a casting down,
when men must mourn, and women weep,
My sister’s laughter is a hose for lifting,
rinsing wrinkles straight, drying foul air clean.
like Sarah before the miracle birth of Isaac,
My sister dismisses impossibility with a gale,
though behind her eyelashes is a shower of tears.
Even such tears, washing down her luscious cheeks,
were another delightful mirth for us who had relief,
for us who, through her invigorating pulley of laughter,
must live through her charming mangle of completeness,
and when we decide to die, it is of our own accord,
our graves would be a garden of laughing flowers.
Jonathan Chibuike Ukah lives in London with his family. His poems have been featured and will soon be featured in Strange Horizons, The Fairy Tale Magazine, Atticus Review, The Pierian, Ariel Chart International Press, Boomer Literary Magazine, etc. He is the winner of the Voices of Lincoln Poetry Contest 2022. His poetry collection, Blame the Gods, was a top 6 finalist at the Africa Diaspora Award of Kingsman Quarterly 2023.